OLG Chairman Paul Godfrey Looks Towards Online Gaming
Monday, 22. February 2010

It would appear that moves by the local governments of British Columbia, Quebec and Atlantic provinces in Canada towards getting involved in online gambling have stimulated some progressive thinking in Toronto as well.

It was reported this week in the Toronto Star that the new chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Paul Godfrey, recommended that the province of Ontario reconsider offering online gambling under the control of the OLG noting that potential revenues are “going out of this province to other provinces as well as offshore sites.

Godfrey took over chairmanship of the OLG this Friday. The OLG has undergone a massive restructuring of late with five new board members having been recently appointed by Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. While the various scandals involving questionable expense accounts and insider wins would be more than enough to justify any restructuring initiative, this most current move has led to speculation that the Ontario government might be looking to privatize the OLG. The OLG makes an annual contribution to the Province of Ontario of $1.9 billion Canadian.

Godfrey stated that privatizing the OLG is not an immediate strategy and that any such decision rests with the government. He also said that while he can’t undo the damage of past scandals, he intends to “build back the public trust” in the OLG.

This year, the Province of Ontario faces a record deficit of $24.7 billion Canadian. Offering online gambling under the control of the OLG will certainly go a long way in reducing Ontario’s massive deficit.

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