Two of Canada’s largest telecom companies could be in the running to take over operation of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
OLG will not confirm media reports that both Bell and Rogers have been per-quailified to bid on the day to day operations of OLG that contributes over 2 Billion dollars a year to provincial coffers.
“The RFP (Request for Proposals) will enable OLG to select one service provider to run specific day-to-day operations of the lottery business in Ontario,” an OLG news release said Monday.
The agency says it will not release the names of any pre-qualified bidders for the lottery business until a new service provider is announced a year from now.
OLG’s head office is located in Sault Ste. Marie and also operates a charity casino. The Ontario government has been seeking to “modernize” the agency as casinos return less profit and younger players turn to online gambling. The average lotto buyer is Male, 52 who buys lottery products at least once a week according to data from OLG.
Meanwhile, the Sault Ste. Marie EDC issued the following release Monday
Officials in Sault Ste. Marie welcomed today’s OLG announcement that it has issued Request for Proposal (RFP) documents to candidates it has determined are pre-qualified to bid to take over managing the Provincial lottery business. Mayor Debbie Amaroso embraced the announcement, calling it “the beginning of a new era of opportunity for Sault Ste. Marie, workers currently employed by OLG, and others involved with industries supplying services and products to the gaming and lottery business.”
“Sault Ste. Marie is a strong, determined and innovative community that the OLG Head Office has called home for more than 25 years,” Mayor Amaroso added. “As a city, we have developed a skilled lottery workforce, superb infrastructure and a clear vision to remain the Centre of Excellence for Lottery and Gaming. Sault Ste. Marie’s continued status as Head Office has been confirmed by Premier Kathleen Wynne and OLG’s Chairman Philip Olsson. I look forward to the future of OLG in our community.”
The City of Sault Ste. Marie, along with the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC), has been working closely with OLG and local stakeholders since March 2012 to help the community and Crown Corporation prepare for the modernization of the Province’s lottery and gaming sector.
“We look forward to this next phase where we can work directly with the vendors to acquaint them with all the benefits Sault Ste. Marie has to offer to the successful RFP proponent,” said Tom Dodds, CEO of the SSMEDC. “We have been assured by OLG leaders that they will link us with the prospective proponents they have chosen so that we can help each determine how to take advantage of the skills and experience resident in our community.”
The SSMEDC created a web portal for lottery and gaming vendors to learn more about the strategic assets that Sault Ste. Marie offers. The website, www.saultlotteryandgaming.com, is titled: “Lottery and Gaming…It’s in our DNA.” The SSMEDC is also offering the resources of a Transition Service Officer to work with lottery and gaming vendors to maximize the incredible resources found in Sault Ste. Marie.
“The last two years has seen the creation of the Centre for Next Generation Lottery and Gaming at the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, the community-wide Digital Gaming Taskforce, expanded operations by Canadian Bank Note Company and other vendors, and the recent RFP for a Tier 3 Data Centre,” said Dodds, “all evidence indicating that the Sault is open for business for the lottery and gaming industry.”