Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

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Overeducated millennials think they’re too smart to play the lottery

(Image: MysteryPeople)

(Image: MysteryPeople)

Ugh. Millennials! Can they do anything correctly? Is there any institution they don’t feel all disaffected toward? They don’t care about traditional banking; they can’t get out of debt; they refuse to engage with brands. Now, in their latest bucking of stuffy Old World convention, millennials aren’t buying enough lottery tickets.

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Sunshine List: how much Rob Ford, Paul Godfrey and Chris Spence earned in 2012

Rob Ford earned $173,869 including taxable benefits in 2012

Each year, Queen’s Park releases the sunshine list, a catalogue of all the Ontario public servants who made $100,000 or more—and, because the $100,000 threshold hasn’t changed since the list’s inception in 1996, that exalted group now contains nearly 88,412 members. (Were the benchmark tied to inflation, it would now be over $139,000, cutting the list to about 18,000 people.) Since most people have better things to do this long weekend than sift through tens of thousands of names, we put together this cheat sheet of 2012’s most high-profile recipients of public largesse.

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A lot of casino questions (and few answers) at Rob Ford’s executive meeting

(Image: Phil Marion from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

MGM and Caesars Entertainment may already be scoping out Toronto as a potential site for a massive resort casino (and have some, er, very nice brochures to help make their case), but yesterday’s executive committee meeting at city council suggests there won’t be any concrete decisions for a while. After listening to deputations from recovering gambling addicts, big-time investors, the Canadian Gaming Association and more, the committee voted to have city staff study the idea and city manager Joe Pennachetti report back in October. That comprehensive report should examine whether or not to have a referendum on the question, the possible effects on job and crime rates, the economic costs and benefits to the city, and—everyone’s favourite topic of speculation—where to put the thing if Toronto agrees to it.

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Paul Godfrey really, really wants a casino, and he really, really wants it downtown

(Image: Ian McKellar)

Paul Godfrey, chair of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, still hasn’t given up on the idea of a mega-casino in Toronto (he makes his case in Toronto Life this month), and he’s pushing hard to put it on the downtown waterfront. The businessman is basically begging councillors not to dismiss a casino before all the facts are in, and said that, put anywhere but downtown, the complex “wouldn’t be as iconic. We would have to be satisfied with something less.” Adam Vaughan and Mike Layton, who both have anti-casino motions scheduled for the mayor’s executive committee on Monday, didn’t sound swayed by Godfrey’s pitch. “All the research I’ve done, it’s saying run and hide from these things,” said Layton. That, or push them out to Etobicoke. [Globe and Mail]

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Miffed Ontario finance minister tells Toronto plenty of cities would love a casino

(Image: Ian McKellar)

Sounding like a spurned suitor, Ontario finance minister Dwight Duncan says if downtown councillors like Adam Vaughan and Mike Layton don’t want his fancy gambling complex, he’ll find someone who will. Having found Toronto somewhat unreceptive to the prospect of to a casino on its waterfront, Duncan warned the city that other jurisdictions have “quite aggressively” lobbied the province for the project—including Hamilton, whose mayor, Bob Bratina, has already “put feelers out” and has a meeting scheduled with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation later this month. Duncan says Toronto stands to miss out on the casino revenue and a “golden mile” of spinoffs that could spur between $3 and $4 billion in investment and create thousands of jobs. Still, many—including Richard Florida—think the casino wouldn’t be the economic boon that Duncan is hyping it to be. (To be precise, Florida’s words were “unmitigated disaster.”) Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

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Urbanist Richard Florida thinks a Toronto casino would be an “unmitigated disaster”

With the politicking already underway on the prospect of a swanky Toronto-area casino, we were craving some straight talk on urban gambling dens. Enter imported urban theorist (and trick-or-treating expertRichard Florida, who bluntly rejected the idea on Metro Morning earlier today. “If you polled virtually every urbanist and everyone who’s studied urban economic development—Conservative, Liberal, NDP, right, left, centre—everyone would agree that casinos, as an economic development tool, are an unmitigated disaster,” Florida said. His rationale: the costs associated with keeping a casino open, like a higher police presence to deal with more crime, far outweigh any of the cash it would generate. Florida also sarcastically described Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation chair Paul Godfrey as “uniquely qualified among all economists who ever studied that issue in the history of the world.” Yikes. Imagine what he’d say about Godfrey’s plan to open a temporary casino while the permanent one is being built. Listen to the entire segment [Metro Morning] »

(Images: Richard Florida, Ed Schipul; casino chip, Sam DeLong)

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Politics

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OLG pushes for a casino in the GTA, downtown councillors push right back 

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation wants to open a big ol’ casino in the GTA, which it says will create jobs and spark private investment (and, if Doug Ford has his way, help fund a Sheppard subway). According to OLG chair, Paul Godfrey, the ”world-class gaming centre” could pour billions into the province’s coffers and attract scores of tourists. Not true, says the Toronto Stars Royson James, who thinks casinos are just a fancy way to take money from the poor and vulnerable to fund services that the middle-class refuse to pay for. Downtown councillors like Adam Vaughan have already shown they’ll fight plans to put a casino in their wards, while the two Dougs (Ford and Holyday) are focused on the potential windfall. We’re bracing for another protracted fight down at city hall—and we might, in the spirit of the matter, place a wager on the outcome. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

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Doug Ford wants to fund the Sheppard subway extension with casino dollars and lottery money

(Image: Christopher Drost)

With the fate of public transit on Sheppard Avenue soon to be decided, noted idea man Doug Ford thinks it’s time his colleagues start to think outside the box when it comes to financing brother Rob Ford’s cherished subway extension. For him, that means the possibility of building a downtown casino or creating a lottery. But before you start counting how many lotto tickets it would take to buy a subway—like this guy—we should point out that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has already said the idea isn’t feasible. But we still think Doug is onto something with this whole thinking-outside-the-box thing. We wonder if he’s heard of that newfangled “light-rail” technology. It’s pretty novel stuff. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

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OLG shocked to discover dozens of people will claim to be owed $12.5 million

A tip for the next time our provincial lottery finds itself walking around yelling “Anybody think they’re owed millions of dollars?”: hire a call centre first. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has found itself handling more than 20 times the usual number of calls ever since it and the OPP announced that a family running a Burlington convenience store had illegally claimed a winning ticket.

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