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Gambling 101

Gambling Industry in Ontario

The Government of Ontario created the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC), a Crown Corporation, on April 1, 2000 by merging the Ontario Casino Corporation (OCC) and the Ontario Lottery Corporation (OLC). More recently the abbreviated name was changed from OLGC to OLG.

Ontario has experienced an unprecedented expansion of gambling opportunities where public access and involvement with gambling has increased enormously.  Prior to 1994, the only types of visible gambling sites were racetracks, lottery booths and county fairs. There were no casinos or slot machines in Ontario.

The first casino was built in Windsor in 1994 and was considered to be a temporary site. To date, OLG is responsible for 4 resort casinos, 17 slot machine facilities at racetracks, 5 OLG casinos and Great Blue Heron Charity Casino. OLG also conducts and manages 6 eBingo sites, operates 18 terminal-based lottery and sports games and offers more than 80 INSTANT lottery products through approximately 10,000 lottery retailers.

OLG is currently undergoing an expansion process that includes introducing private sector delivery of lottery and gaming and launching internet gaming in 2013.

Ontario is home to the sixth-largest lottery network in North America. In fiscal 2011, total lottery revenue was $3.245 billion. Eight million Ontarians played the lottery at least once in 2011 and 2.7 million visited gaming sites. OLG directly employs approximately 7,700 people and indirectly employs an additional 10,000 people across the province.

In Southern Ontario, 93% of residents are already within a one-hour drive of a casino or slot machine facility.

Some Facts about Gambling in Ontario

  • 82.9% of Ontario adults said they gambled at least once in 2011.
  • 1.2%-3.4% of Ontarians are affected by moderate to severe problem gambling.
  • 38.4% of Ontario students in grades 7-12 stated they engaged in at least one gambling activity in 2011 and 2.7% said they engaged in at least two gambling activities.
  • About 1.7% of Ontario students are affected by problem gambling (17,300 students).
  • In 2011, the combined revenue from Ontario's commercial casinos was $1.3 billion and the largest source of revenue generated was from lotteries and bingo -- $3.32 billion in 2011.
  • As part of OLG’s modernization plan, 5 new gaming sites have been proposed, including North Bay, Kenora, Collingwood, Belleville, and the GTA.
  • By 2017-18, OLG plans on providing an additional $1.3 billion in annual net profit to the province and creating approximately 2,300 net new industry jobs. Over this six-year period, OLG has targeted providing an additional $4.6 billion to the Ontario government.
  • Ontario and Quebec have the most gaming venues
  • Ontario has the most lottery ticket terminals and outlets, horse racing venues, gaming tables, slots & VLT's and number of games across Canada. Total government gaming revenue is highest in Ontario.

For more information on the gambling industry, click on the links below:

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