This year, the BCLC’s Lotto 6/49 game is celebrating its 30th anniversary; however, the occasion is not solely joyous. Instead of commemorating the anniversary, it has brought light to the fact that the lottery system is still vulnerable to fraud. According to a recent review, the fraud prevention systems recently put in place only partially present a solution.
After it was discovered that lottery retailers were duping the system and collecting lottery winnings for themselves, the BCLC put a number of safeguards in place. The Lottery Player Protection Review was recently conducted to determine the effectiveness of these 18 controls, whichput in place to fight fraud. However, BCLC spokesperson Laura Piva-Babcock stated that the controls only ‘partially mitigate risk’. This means that they only help to reduce some risks and are not completely effective.
In the review, one particular question was asked of each safe guard: “Player protection risk mitigated?”
Seven answered “yes”. Eleven answered “partially”.
So, while the majority of BC lottery players have been coerced into thinking that a miraculous change has taken place, that simply is not the case. There are still holes in the system, and players are still at risk of falling victim to fraud and general unfairness when it comes to playing the lottery.
Guy Simonis, the first president of the BCLC, suggested that identity cards would be useful. Used in other countries, they are embedded with the player’s personal details. Whenever the player purchases a ticket or checks their numbers, their card is swiped to ensure that the same person who bought the ticket is also cashing it in. This has prevented a great deal of fraud in other lottery’s jurisdictions.
It has also been suggested that the BCLC be less secretive. Over the course of the past few years, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation has denied several Freedom of Information requests. The corporation has claimed that it must keep its record private due to competition; however, since the BCLC has a monopoly on the lottery market in the province, there is no competition. So, it should be willing to keep the public informed, helping them understand how they can fight fraud on a personal level.