Ontario has set about privatising its lottery business in order to generate more revenue to support public finances.
The bidding process has already begun and there are plans to award a contract by the end of the year.
One of the parties interested in bidding is Camelot Group PLC, the operators of Britain’s national lottery which was bought by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan three years ago.
Last year the Ontario Lottery brought in $3.2 billion revenue and delivered a $1 billion profit to the province. The province itself is facing an $11.9 billion deficit, so the lottery funds are essential.
Rod Phillips, the CEO of OLG has said that the industry needs to rethink itself. According to Phillips the system relies on an old and expensive closed network of about 10,000 terminals which are located at convenience stores.
He believes in an age where people are used to carrying out transactions online then there is no reason to make customers visit specialised stations to buy lottery tickets.
OLG thinks that it could earn significantly more revenue from 18 to 44 year olds and from women, it also thinks that profits could be boosted through online and mobile sales.