OLG initiated the next phase of the procurement process to modernize gaming in Ontario by issuing Requests for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) for Gaming Zones, some of which have been grouped into Gaming Bundles, in three geographic regions of Ontario. Specifically, three RFPQs were issued — one for the Ottawa Area and one each for Gaming Bundles in Eastern Ontario and Northern Ontario:
- Ottawa Area:Zone E4, which includes the Rideau Carleton Raceway site
- East Gaming Bundle: Zone E1, which includes the Kawartha Downs site Zone E2, which is the area around the City of Belleville Zone E3, which includes the OLG Casino Thousand Islands
- North Gaming Bundle: Zone N1, which includes the Sudbury Downs site Zone N2, which includes the OLG Casino Sault Ste. Marie Zone N3, which includes the OLG Casino Thunder Bay Zone N4, which is the area around the City of Kenora Zone N5, which is the area around the City of North Bay
Gaming Bundle maps are available in the media section of www.OLG.ca.
Interested service providers are required to submit proposals on entire Gaming Bundles, not on individual Gaming Zones or Gaming Sites contained within a Gaming Bundle.
Interested service providers must respond to these RFPQs by March 7, 2013. The RFPQs are available on MERX (http://www.merx.com/olg).
In March 2012, OLG delivered a report to the Minister of Finance, outlining a proposal to modernize lottery and gaming in Ontario. The report contained three key recommendations:
- Become more customer-focused
- Select qualified service providers for specific day-to-day operations of Lottery and Gaming; and
- Renew OLG’s role in the conduct, management and oversight of Lottery and Gaming.
In the spring, OLG initiated a fair and transparent procurement process by releasing two Requests for Information (RFIs) — one for gaming and one for lottery — to solicit feedback from potential service providers.
What is a Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ)?
A Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) will help OLG determine the skills and abilities of potential service providers.
Interested service providers will be asked to submit information on their financial and technical attributes and capabilities, including proof of successful experience with similar projects. In addition, service providers are asked to provide information on any experience and working relationships with First Nations or First Nations communities.
Interested service providers must also have submitted an application for registration with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
The RFPQ process will result in OLG’s procurement department having the ability to identify qualified service providers eligible to receive the RFP documents — the next step in OLG’s procurement process.
What are Gaming Zones?
In order to effectively manage the gaming market in Ontario, and as part of the Gaming RFI released in May 2012, OLG identified 29 Gaming Zones where existing or new gaming facilities would be permitted, with municipal and other approvals.
Gaming Zones are geographic areas where qualified service providers will be permitted to operate a single gaming facility. The design of these Gaming Zones is intended to manage competition between facilities and ensure a sustainable and efficient gaming market in Ontario. The makeup of each proposed Gaming Zone is subject to change.
Within each Gaming Zone, service providers will be permitted to operate the existing facility, establish a new facility if one does not currently exist, or relocate the existing facility within the boundaries of the Gaming Zone, all subject to approvals.
What are Gaming Bundles?
Based on responses to the Gaming RFI and to enable OLG to more effectively manage the gaming market in Ontario, OLG is grouping some of the 29 Gaming Zones identified in the RFI together into Gaming Bundles — each representing a separate bidding opportunity.
As a result, for some RFPQs, including two of the three released today (Ontario East and North), service providers are being asked to demonstrate their ability to operate multiple facilities in a given region or geographic area of the province.
Gaming Bundles are intended to create opportunities for qualified service providers to be more efficient by operating multiple facilities in a given region. Gaming Bundles will not result in the merging of current or proposed facilities, or of proposed Gaming Zones.
The number and makeup of proposed Gaming Bundles are subject to change. OLG may also, from time to time, modify Gaming Zones that are included in a single Gaming Bundle operated by a single service provider.
Gaming Bundles – Impact on Municipalities
Nothing has changed for municipalities included in the Gaming Bundles issued in the first wave of RFPQs. The rules around existing and new sites, as well as the potential for service providers to move existing sites has not changed.
Any proposed new site, or the movement of an existing site, within a municipality would require municipal approval, as well as approval from OLG and the Ontario government.
Gaming Bundles will not affect the hosting fee agreements OLG has negotiated with host municipalities.
OLG’s Conduct and Manage Role
OLG will continue its role in conduct, management and oversight, and remain the “operating mind” behind the delivery of gaming in Ontario.
To fulfill this role, OLG will retain control over lottery and gaming, but will expect the service provider to recommend approaches to the operation of the gaming site that could improve customer service, increase gaming revenue, and/or increase net profit to the Province.
OLG will also continue to prevent and mitigate the effects of problem gambling through its Responsible Gambling program, which is recognized internationally by the World Lottery Association’s certification program, and at four gaming sites, by the Responsible Gambling Council of Canada’s RG Check program.
What are the next steps?
OLG will issue RFPQs for the remainder of the Gaming Zones, some in Gaming Bundles, in the coming months. Details pertaining to upcoming RFPQs, including the composition and number of additional Gaming Bundles is still being worked out based on feedback OLG received from the RFI process.
Interested service providers who are prequalified through this process will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage of the procurement process. The successful service providers for gaming facilities in the areas defined in the Ontario East and North Gaming Bundles will be selected from this group.
OLG will issue the RFPQ for the modernization of lottery shortly.
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