If you haven’t already heard that the OLG is planning on an overhaul of its gambling services, you must not have a television or the internet. Over the course of the past two weeks, the media has been full of opinion pieces and reports on the lottery commission’s plans. A recent report by the Sudbury Star asks one very poignant question, however: is Ontario too dependent on gambling revenue?
The report states that there could be more effective ways to boost government revenue across the province, including boosting driver’s license renewals and camping permits. However, politician across Canada are not inclined to take on a venture that would result in boosted taxes.
So, gambling expansion and online gambling seem like the best way forward in this situation. Gambling is a voluntary activity, so those who do not wish to take part are not required to pay into the government’s revenue source. It seems like an ideal way for politicians to boost their coffers.
However, the Sudbury Star goes on to cite studies that show lower-income households are more likely to spend money on gambling activities. So, it seems fair for the government to introduce a tax scheme across the board, rather than dipping into the pockets of those who should be saving their money rather than spending it on gaming.
This is just one of many reports that does not support the gambling expansion in Ontario. However, the OLG seems dedicated to the initiative and is not likely to budge.