After OLG Chairman Paul Godfrey announced his new plans for the expansion of the local lottery commission, the media has exploded with concerns about the issue. According to a recent report in the Globe and Mail, expanding lottery and gambling services in Ontario is not an effective way of generating additional gambling revenue for the province.
The report states that Ontario has the lowest turnover in the country. Should $6 billion be spent on gambling in a year, only $1.7 billion will be awarded to government resources. The remainder will go to beneficiaries, operators and be paid out as winnings. While $1.7 billion seems like a substantial amount of money, it does not seem worth it to extract $6 billion from gamblers from gamblers in the first place.
The report suggests that the Ontario government boost the turnover rate from 35% to 51%. This would result in an additional $800 million for government coffers, making the prospect of gambling expansion more palatable.
Regardless of the turnover rate, the OLG seems to very committed to implementing these changes. Pending approval from the government, we could see the plan starting to roll out by the end of 2012.