OLG Distributes First-Quarter Payments

The Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp (OLG) operates under a mandate to not only provide gaming and lottery entertainment to people in Ontario in a responsible manner, but to support the province in various ways. This includes financial support of government priorities and host communities.

OLG has grown into a powerful force in Ontario since its creation in 2000. The corporation oversees all casinos, gambling-focused charity events, and lotteries. It employs more than 8,000 people and has given more than $50 million back to the province and communities within.

And according to this mandate, OLG just reported that it issued its first-quarter non-tax gaming revenue payments to host gaming communities in the amount of nearly $44.4 million.

Mandates for Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp

According to the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding between the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp and Minister of Finance, the corporation is held accountable for its operations and responsibilities to Ontario. The OLG manages its own financial affairs but submits to regular audits and oversight from the Minister.

As a part of this relationship, the Minister sends an official mandate to the OLG to outline expectations. All of this is pursuant to the 1999 Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act.

For example, the 2018 mandate letter noted that OLG revenue was to be returned to the province “to support government priorities such as healthcare, education and general government priorities. OLG’s operations also result in economic benefits for the people of Ontario, related economic sectors, host communities and First Nations.”

First Quarter Revenue Disbursements

The fiscal year for OLG begins on April 1 and runs through March 31. Currently, OLG is in its second quarter. Its first quarter ran from April 1 to June 30, 2019.

The OLG has now issued its first-quarter non-tax gaming revenue payments to a total of 28 communities that host gaming facilities. And that amount came to $44,399,230, putting the total to date over $1.6 billion.

A Minister of Finance approved formula determines the payments. The amount is based on a graduated scale of revenue across all sites in Ontario. According to Minister Rod Phillips:

“These funds are invested in plenty of important projects, including much-needed investment in local infrastructure, community programs and services, roads and public transit.”

He added that OLG’s partnerships help to improve “the quality of life for individuals and families right across the province.”

Quarterly and Annual Increases

The amount of money to host communities has been increasing on a regular basis. As compared to Q4 of the last financial year (Jan. 1 to March 31 2019) the payment increased substantially. A total of 25 communities received that Q4 payment of $25,479,041.

While quarterly revenue can change based on seasonal and other economic factors, year-on-year numbers are usually a better way to measure growth.

For the first-quarter payments in 2018, there were 24 communities that benefited to the tune of $37,868,972. Again, that is several million less than the first quarter of 2019 distribution.

Bigger Numbers

Overall, the OLG boasts of big numbers in its net profit to the province and support for local economies.

According to the website, OLG generated $4.1 billion in economic activity in Ontario, which included:

• $2.44 billion to support Ontario priorities, i.e. operation of hospitals, amateur sports activities, and various local priorities for casino host communities
• $45 million directed to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, specifically to focus on research, treatment, and prevention of problem gambling.

For that same year, the OLG pointed to a $4.1 billion figure with regard to boosted economic activity in Ontario overall, beyond just the host communities.

  • $855.8 million in personnel costs for 12,600 OLG employees – both direct and indirect
  • $278 million paid in commissions to Ontario’s lottery retailers
  • $160.8 million paid to municipalities and First Nations in Ontario that host gaming facilities and charitable gaming establishments
  • $139.6 million specifically for First Nations through the Ontario Gaming Revenue Sharing and Financial Agreement
  • $142.7 million in goods and services purchased from Ontario businesses connected to OLG owned, operated, or managed land-based gaming facilities.

OLG also claims that millions of dollars given to host communities are used to fund college and university campuses and other education-related endeavors, hospitals and medical facilities, community centers, and charitable organisations.

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. As the online gaming sectors have changed and grown, particularly in the United States and Canada, she has followed it all and written about it for websites like World Poker Tour and PokerScout. In her free time, she runs a small business, reads, cooks, and enjoys music.


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