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Lotteries facing more scrutiny

 
Anonymous Coward
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03/14/2007 11:03 AM
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Lotteries facing more scrutiny
Lotteries facing more scrutiny
SHANNON KARI

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

TORONTO — The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is facing new allegations that fraudulent wins by lottery ticket sellers may be more widespread than it is willing to admit, including a $12.5-million jackpot that was awarded despite the suspicions of internal investigators.

The lottery corporation has insisted that the case of Bob Edmonds, an 82-year-old Coboconk resident defrauded out of a $250,000 prize by a store clerk, was an isolated event.

But internal lottery corporation documents obtained by the CBC program the fifth estate for a broadcast tonight reveal that the lottery corporation investigated four $250,000 wins by ticket sellers between November, 2002, and December, 2003, as well as the $12.5-million jackpot.

In one of the cases, a clerk in Orillia pleaded guilty to fraud. The documents say that in the other four investigations, including the $12.5-million prize that originated from a Super 7 ticket bought in St. Catharines, Ont., in December, 2003, the lottery corporation eventually awarded the prizes to the retailers.

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In about a month, the provincial Ombudsman is supposed to release the results of his investigation into the lottery corporation and how it protects the public from fraud.

Since the fifth estate broadcast its first program last fall about Mr. Edmonds and the unusually high number of insiders winning lottery and instant scratch tickets, the lottery corporation has instituted new security measures. They include the installation of more than 1,800 self-serve "ticket checkers" and requirements that retailers have customers sign the back of tickets before they validate them.

After the bad publicity last fall, the lottery corporation retained outside public relations consultants. Chief executive officer Duncan Brown was instructed to appear proactive and "confident yet humble," in media interviews, according to this week's the fifth estate report.

While the lottery corporation is investigating every insider win of more than $10,000, e-mails between lottery corporation officials show that, as recently as last May, it had planned to institute a new policy that ticket sellers would no longer be categorized as insiders.

"The Ontario Lottery Corporation has known for a long time that it has a serious problem with so-called insider wins," said fifth estate producer Harvey Cashore. "What is not clear is why they planned to remove retailers from their insider-win policy. How would that help the problem?"

A spokesman for the lottery corporation said it is not going to make any further statements about its insider-win policy until the release of the Ombudsman's report.

Jim Cronin, director of public affairs, also declined to comment on the cost of the outside public relations agency or its legal bills in defending itself in Mr. Edmonds's lawsuit.

Information disclosed under the provincial Freedom of Information Act indicates that the lottery corporation has paid the Toronto law firm of Cassels Brock nearly $600,000 in connection with the Edmonds case. More than $165,000 of that total has been billed since the lottery corporation reached an out-of-court settlement with Mr. Edmonds in the spring of 2005.

Criminal charges against the Coboconk store clerk were stayed in the fall of 2004 after she and her husband agreed to pay Mr. Edmonds $150,000.

The program to be broadcast by the fifth estate tonight also raises questions about the Ontario Provincial Police and why the force did not execute a search warrant against the lottery corporation that was requested by the constable investigating the clerk and her husband. The officer wanted to search the computers of some lottery corporation officials in August, 2004, who he suspected of allegedly obstructing the police investigation.

The OPP has confirmed that a warrant was drafted, but never approved by the constable's supervisors.

The OPP conducted a review of why the request for the search warrant was not approved. Inspector Dave Ross said yesterday that the Crown and the supervising OPP officer decided at the time that a further search of the lottery corporation's records was not needed.

Special to The Globe and Mail
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 208768
Switzerland
03/14/2007 11:08 AM
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Re: Lotteries facing more scrutiny
Illuminati *** MEGA *** jokes playing the lottery - warning this is NOT a joke
[link to www.goldismoney.info]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 137330
United States
03/14/2007 11:17 AM
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Re: Lotteries facing more scrutiny
disclaimer: my buddy won $12.5 miillion a few years ago. unfortunately there were 59 people in his group. fortunately, two of those people were his mom and dad, so they got 3 shares out of the 59.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/14/2007 12:01 PM
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Re: Lotteries facing more scrutiny
Atlantic lottery sellers win more, but officials find no wrongdoing so far





MONCTON, N.B. (CP) - A review by the Atlantic Lottery Corp. has found that retail owners in the region have been winning at rates 10 times higher than their statistical odds. An internal review found that retail owners claimed 44 prizes of $25,000 or more during a six-year period.

The review concludes that, based on playing habits and the odds of winning, retail owners should have accounted for an average of 3.5 wins over the same period.

In a release, Mike Randall of the lottery corporation says there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, but the agency is introducing measures to toughen security.

The same problems have dogged the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., with CBC's Fifth Estate reporting that a disproportionate number of "insiders" have won large prizes.

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation, based in Moncton, N.B., operates lotteries in all four Atlantic provinces.




---then there was the manitoba lottery fiasco when the 'winning numbers' were printed weeks before a major lottery draw, and then when the lottery did take place, some winning tickets from secondary prizes were not being read as winners by the ticket readers in stores

all this reminds me about a documentary on the illinois lottery several years ago highlighting their tremendous growth and pitching it as a model for the ontario lotteries. something seemed fishy about it all and sure enough the illinois lottery faced fraud charges of some sort a few years later

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