The OLG gambling modernization strategy has been the hallmark associated with the future of gambling in Ontario. But the OLG will move forward with its plans without Rod Phillips, who resigned as CEO of the provincial gambling regulator after two and a half years on the job.
Phillips was hired in 2011 with the specific purpose of managing the OLG through its expansion of privatized gambling in Ontario. The goal of the modernization strategy was to add an additional $1.3 billion to the provincial budget by privatizing lotteries and establishing new casinos across the province.
The strategy was created by the previous Ontario government under Dalton McGuinty, but his successor Kathleen Wynne took the OLG in a different direction. Part of the revamped strategy involved dismissing OLG Chairman Paul Godfrey, though Phillips stayed on as CEO and worked closely with the Wynne government.
However, after numerous setbacks and delays, Phillips became frustrated with the lack of commitment to the OLG strategy. Mounting frustration became too much for Phillips, who tendered his resignation before qualifying for an annual bonus. The OLG fiscal year ends on March 31 and spokespeople say Phillips will not be entitled to a bonus as he is no longer employed with the organization.
In his statement, Phillips hinted at a future in politics, but would first take a “leadership position” in the private sector – though he did not mention the name of the company.
“I am confident that OLG is well-positioned to modernize the lottery and gaming industry and to achieve great success in the years to come.”