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OLG Reveals More Details On Plan

Published: June 11, 2012 6:53 pm ET

Last Comment: June 12, 2012 3:39 pm ET | 11 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Monday, June 11, officials with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. spoke of the process to revitalize gaming across the province, equating the model to how the NHL or NBA franchise sports teams.

We’re looking for the right operators for each venue,” said Dr. Sam Heath, Vice President of Strategy for the OLG, while speaking at the Canadian Gaming Summit in Niagara Falls.

“In any of the zones where we have an existing site, we want to hear the expertise of whether or not that is the right site,” said Heath. “It will be up to operators whether they like the site we have or whether they’d like to operate a different site. In no case will we constrain an operator to a specific site.

“In our franchising model, I look at the OLG as the NBA or NHL,” said Heath. While there are certain rules that operators must follow, operators will have freedom on the site, how it is built, marketed, branded and operated. Operators can bid for one or multiple sites. Experience in gaming operations is being stressed

Heath also encouraged bidders to determine the funding model. “Tell us how you want to get paid,” he said. “We’ll pay operators a fee and they’ll be required to pay all capital and operating expenses,” He suggested a tiered commission and a fixed commission structure as two potential models.

OLG officials also gave a clearer indication of how the slot facilities currently operating at racetracks will be run after March 31, the announced end of the Slots at Racetracks program.

“As of March 31 of next year the arrangement with racetracks and horsepeople will come to an end,” said Larry Flynn, Senior Vice President, Gaming, OLG. “Where we currently have a slot facility at a racetrack, we are actively negotiating a lease to take us beyond April 1, 2013. We’re a tenant in all of those facilities

“We’ll be doing a short term lease,” continued Flynn. “The new operator (once they are determined through the RFP process) will take over operations at the facility we’re in until they build a new facility or if they decide to stay in that facility.”

OLG officials also indicated that while one casino is planned for Toronto, they are considering adding table games at other facilities that will serve the Greater Toronto Area. “We’d like to allow flexibility to put table games wherever they belong in the province,” said Heath.

During the RFI process, the OLG is strongly encouraging any interested parties and groups to submit questions and express concerns they have with any of the zones or parameters as set out by the OLG. That information will be the basis for the RFP which will follow this summer.

June 12, 2012 - 3:39 pmThis just blows my little

Greg Parke SAID...

This just blows my little mind. This has all the markings of a soap opera. greed, passivness, highs, lows and people dressed up pretending they know what they are doing.

The venues are right in front of you, already running (quite successfully) and loaded with Canadian content(yes I stole that, it was a good line sir)
Ask the municipalities already hosting racetracks and see which ones will expand into these lavish wonderful places the Liberals talk about. (Woodbine, Fort Erie or Windsor, Georgian Downs, Grand River just to name a couple based on tourist places, land availabilty, interest and places central to other attrcations to get you started)

I really do think if you show the tax payers of Ontario and Canada that taking away this program essentially TAKES billions out of the economy by lost jobs, less funding for healthcare, education and municipality's you might wake someone up.

It is not only my opinion, this is the way this war should have been fought from the get go, not passive petitioning and whining and dining. Go to the people of Ontario and show them the six percent hike in their taxes(just for this year)once this program is gone. The politico's have nothing to lose but the people sure do.

Get this message out and my bet is it doesn't go anywhere.
Greg Parke

June 12, 2012 - 2:14 pmIf the OLG aka Liberal Party

Phil Porter SAID...

If the OLG aka Liberal Party were a private sector employer and looking to expand and increase their product line, I can assure you that any expansion would not include dropping their best customer and their most lucrative source of would amount to what is commonly known as 'political suicide'.

June 12, 2012 - 12:48 pmIf the OLG bigwigs think this

If the OLG bigwigs think this is a sound business plan they should be fired. There are no numbers included to indicate that they have any idea where they are heading. The Dragon's Den would use this as comic relief and laugh them off the stage.
The same thing will happen as it did with the resort casinos.These casinos are making so much money that they can spend 256 million a year to subsidize freebies for high rollers(Toronto Star May 23, Martin Cohn) and Fallsview can give bonuses of first $2000 and then $1400 to each of its 4500 employees, the second just after the workers at Fort Erie were laid off. Despite such obvious high earnings the OLG managed to lose $100 million in each of the past few years. Worse, the money left the province for whereever the operators are from, probably the States.If this is their idea of modernization heaven help everyone in the province.

June 12, 2012 - 11:03 amI am double posting here

Georg Leber SAID...

I am double posting here because I feel my point is important and I don't see this idea anywhere in any posts so far.

How do we give input to this panel?

There is no mystery why the Slots Program works and I have not seen anyone post the reason why. If you have ever been to a casino and especially if you are a real gambler you will know the answer.

Firstly, more people play slots than any other game in the casino. The number of staff to operate the slot machines is far less than the table games. Look at a blackjack table. There may be 3 people at the table and it still requires a dealer, pit bosses and admin staff to handle it. For the slots there can be hundreds of people playing and just a few staff.

Secondly and most important, the slots are the only form of gambling in the casino that is a guaranteed winner for the casino. On any given day the tables can lose money especially when you factor in the staffing.

So if you were building a model to make money from casinos, you would want as many of these small outlets so the population could get to them and play slots. Leave the racetrack programs as they are and add a number of small slots casinos in Toronto, not one big mega casino. That way you get to more people.

Why is this so hard for the politicians to grasp???? So again, how do we give input?

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

June 12, 2012 - 6:51 amLet this Yank ask a question.

Allan Schott SAID...

Let this Yank ask a question. Canada is always sensitive about being treated as the 51st state of the United States and has all these rules about Canadian content. Yet, here we are and they basically want to handover the entire casino business to American gaming companies?

The sad thing is the Liberals and OLG are hell bent on getting this done no matter what the consequences are.

It makes no sense.

June 12, 2012 - 1:52 amRevitalize gaming, Canadian

Revitalize gaming, Canadian Gaming Summit!!! Please,I read this garbage and it just makes me sick. How is it that the OLG can project increased revenues of 1.3 billion dollars in the future but currently does not have a clue what the revenue sharing agreement with their new partners will be. Quote "Heath also encouraged bidders to determine the funding model. “Tell us how you want to get paid,” he said. “We’ll pay operators a fee and they’ll be required to pay all capital and operating expenses.”
One thing is for sure the MGM's and Ceasars of the world are not about to pay all of the costs and assume all of the risk for a meagre 25%. The OLG and this government is more than willing to ruin an entire Racing/Breeding Industry and sacrifice a proven revenue generating program without even having its facts straight. Pathetic and sad, but I guess this should be no surprise given the province's current financial crisis under these incompetent Liberals.

June 12, 2012 - 12:14 amThese guys do not make sense.

Ken Walker SAID...

These guys do not make sense. How do they think that the tracks will let them lease the facilities at a lower rate than they are currently getting unless they are paying the tracks off??? And why would the track owners negotiate something like this knowing that the end was eventful just to satisfy the OLG. Maybe this is the reason why no track owner is not saying anything??????? As well where are the thoroughbreds and quarter horses on this subject? I do not see where the OLGA is coming from they continue to pull the wool over everyones eyes. If they are negotiating who are they negotiating with????? Ken

June 11, 2012 - 10:14 pmHow is it the OLG has

chris bush SAID...

How is it the OLG has convinced themselves an efficient,cost effective gaming model that exists now needs overhauling. Isn't it nice that they want experienced gaming operators,like the resort casinos (bleeding in red ink), to operate the new system. While they systematically crush an important industry to forward their pie in the sky agenda, will these geniuses be accountable years down the road when it becomes a complete failure?

June 11, 2012 - 10:09 pmOk...Ok; I am good with all

James Feeley SAID...

Ok...Ok; I am good with all this now; there is something in your drinking supply...That backdrop...thankfully "Canadian " is lower case. These people are nuts..NBA...NHL as a model for gaming...great ...these people are Orwellian. The problem is your electorate is ill informed. There is NOTHING for Ontario as an entity to gain from any of this. Has anyone inthat picture ever been two blocks from the casinos in Atlantic City...oh yes Toronto...that wonderfulness could be all yours..just saying.

June 11, 2012 - 9:43 pmIf this were a professional

Tim Bates SAID...

If this were a professional sports franchise, the other owners would have shut down the money losing casinos in favour of the highly profitable Slots at Racetracks!

Those businesses are run by Billionaires who know when to cut loses, unlike our elected officials and their appointies who could not survive in the world of business.

June 11, 2012 - 9:03 pmThe sad part about this

Ian Dow SAID...

The sad part about this fiasco is the space cadets at the OLG actually believe this garbage they are spewing!

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