WLA Awards OLG 2018 Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program Accolade

The World Lottery Association (WLA) recently awarded the OLG for its responsible gambling program in recognition for the organisation and its efforts around the globe. It wasn’t the first time it received this honour, either, as the same award was also bestowed upon the OLG in 2014.

OLG Background

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, better known as OLG, was created in 2000 via a merger. The organisation now employs more than 8,000 people throughout Ontario. It is owned by the government of Ontario, and it oversees all Aboriginal casinos, gambling-related charity events, and lotteries.

Technically, the company that eventually grew into the OLG launched in 1975. Management has changed hands and branding has evolved, but its origins date back more than 40 years. And over those decades, money raised through state-run gambling has provided nearly $50 million to the province.

The OLG has since stayed at the forefront of the responsible gambling movement. This includes regulating everything from standard lotteries to online tickets, and from horse racing to online gambling.

PlaySmart Offers Informed Choices

PlaySmart is the name of the responsible gambling program established and carried on by the OLG. Its goal is to “educate you about gambling so you can make informed choices about the games you love to play.” And there are four tenets of the program:

1. To clearly communicate how games work with relevant facts.
2. To offer usable knowledge in setting a game plan and keeping gambling as entertainment.
3. To keep it fun by teaching how to play smart using healthy gambling habits.
4. To be available to listen, respond, and offer assistance to anyone who needs it.

There are PlaySmart centres with professionally-trained staff at various charitable bingo and gaming centres across Ontario. Furthermore, the nonprofit Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) of Ontario operates all of these centres. Some centres are self-serve information booths. Meanwhile, others provide staff for counseling and support or simply answering questions.

The website, however, is much more popular, as many players wish to inquire about help on an anonymous level. The PlaySmart.ca site offers that option. The site does provide rules of the various games available to play in Ontario, and it gives information about self-exclusion. Therefore, anyone can take a break from all forms of state-sponsored gambling if they choose. After all, self-exclusion helps them remove themselves from gambling options on a temporary or permanent basis and obtain help if requested.

The OLG works with several organisations to build its PlaySmart program and deliver its message. These groups include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Gambling Research Exchange Ontario, ConnexOntario, Credit Canada, and the Responsible Gambling Council.

WLA Recognises OLG’s Responsible Gambling Program

The WLA recently hosted its biennial World Lottery Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And every two years, during that summit, the WLA bestows a high honour on the lottery organisation that demonstrates it offers the best program for responsible gaming.

Considered for the award are organisations in more than 80 countries. They must have a Level 4 certification, which is the highest level of accreditation given by the WLA.

This year, based on gaming practices through 2018, the WLA presented the award to the OLG. The “2018 Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program” recognised the OLG’s PlaySmart program for its strategic approach to responsible gambling, commitment to consistent improvement, and its successful implementation of pioneering training programs for both retailers and employees.

OLG President and CEO Stephen Rigby spoke in acceptance of the award. He subsequently noted the simple vision that drives his organisation, which is to provide a healthy and positive gambling experience for all players. “We have a responsibility to our customers, employees, as well as our business and community partners, to provide the most effective programming that promotes positive play and mitigates harmful gambling.”

The OLG first won the award from the WLA in 2014, and it is now the only organisation to win twice.

What is the WLA?

Formed in 1999, the WLA is a member-based group focussed on advancing the interests of state-authorised lotteries around the world. The WLA upholds high ethical principles and supports its members.

The core values of the organisation are simple:

–  Responsibility, the highest standards on a corporate and social level.
– Integrity, including transparency and accountability.
– Professionalism to members, stakeholders, and in innovation and creativity circles.

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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