Protecting the integrity and fairness of OLG's products and games is a priority
OLG’s goal is to ensure the right prize goes to the right person, each time and every time. That's why OLG operating procedures for prizing are rigorous and carefully administered. Security, customer protection and customer service are core to the manner in which OLG manages this critical element of lotteries.
Concern for integrity extends, for example, to the complaint process, to privacy issues and to the provision of clear and concise information about winning/non-winning ticket status.
Lottery prize integrity is supported by state-of-the-art data analysis technology, including a database that maintains a record of all 15 billion lottery transactions since 1999 and key information about all individuals involved in the direct sale of lottery products. As a result, OLG's analytics team can quickly identify and investigate questionable activity.
Read more about OLG’s data analytics capability
Did you know that retailers are prohibited from purchasing lottery tickets in their own stores?
Lottery retailers and the employees who sell and redeem lottery tickets are not allowed to purchase or redeem their own lottery tickets where they work. Instead, they must line up to pay and play, just like everyone else, but at a different OLG retailer.
Retailers who violate this policy face penalties that range from a seven-day suspension to the termination of their retailer agreement. There’s a retailer compliance program that includes escalating penalties. While OLG appreciates its retailer partners, their contract includes a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for fraud, theft or dishonest behaviour.
Retailers are required to return all tickets to customers, whether they’re winning tickets or non-winning tickets. The OLG Prize Centre tracks all wins of $1,000 and more, including those of retailers and Insiders. If OLG suspects any unusual retailer activity, this could lead to the suspension of a retailer’s lottery terminal.
Did you know that OLG does real-time analysis to immediately flag suspicious lottery transactions and limit potential fraud?
OLG has a Forensic Investigative Unit that monitors lottery terminal activity and conducts data analysis to support lottery investigations.
Among other high-tech tools, OLG data analysts use DART, Data Analysis and Retrieval Technology, which allows OLG to review billions of transactions in a matter of seconds. It helps OLG recognize patterns that identify potentially fraudulent behaviour or claims.
DART helps investigators create a precise ticket and player profile to help distinguish between legitimate claims and potentially fraudulent ones.
Unique in the lottery industry, the DART environment includes a data warehouse that stores all lottery transactions from 1999 to today – more than 15 billion transactions. If these were printed on paper, the data in DART would circle the earth more than 13 times.
OLG will enhance the customer experience by using DART to deliver, through this microsite, unprecedented amounts of lottery-related trends and statistical information, including an up-to-date list of regions where unclaimed, high-value tickets were sold.
OLG's Corporate Investigations Team manages the claims review process to make sure all prize claims of $10,000 or more are legitimate. All OLG investigators undergo specialized third-party training.
The OLG Prize Centre will also bring in the Corporate Investigations Team to look at claims of $1,000 or more where ownership can’t be determined.
Did you know OLG's auditors have reviewed lottery transactions dating back to 1999?
Independent external auditors, Deloitte and Touche, have found that player protection measures initiated by OLG over the past several years have had a positive impact on limiting potential fraud. OLG directed the auditors to turn over to the Ontario Provincial Police anything that suggested wrongful or criminal behaviour. It also instructed that all key findings be made public.
Did you know that customers must sign their tickets before a retailer can validate them?
This applies to both INSTANT and LOTTO tickets. In addition, customers are encouraged to check their tickets themselves using in-store scanners. Receipts are provided to customers for all ticket validation transactions at the lottery terminal. OLG has a ticket validation process for its lottery retailers:
- If a lottery ticket is not signed, ask the customer to sign the ticket before validating. Do not validate an unsigned ticket.
- Tear through the barcode of each winning lottery ticket to be paid out up to your redemption limit. Return all winning and non-winning lottery tickets and the corresponding validation slip to the customer. Pay any prize owing to the customer up to your redemption limit.
- Keep lottery clutter (lottery ticket paper) away from the lottery terminal, instant ticket device or the printer.
- 1. Ensure the customer display screen, or instant ticket device at instant ticket retailers, is readily visible to customers at all times.
Did you know that all calls received by OLG regarding theft, fraud and dishonesty are routed to Investigative Services?
All customer complaints received by OLG regarding retailer theft, fraud and dishonesty are logged in a single database.
OLG has strict policies and procedures to deal with suspicious wins and related party/insider wins.
Did you know that lottery terminals are temporarily ‘frozen’ when there is a LOTTO or INSTANT ticket validation of $5,000 or more?
In addition to the winning and non-winning musical tones with voice-over messages played by terminals, Ticket Checkers at all lottery terminal locations can be used by customers to check their own tickets.
A list of unclaimed INSTANT prizes is automatically printed from the lottery terminal each day and posted.
Did you know that OLG's ongoing public awareness campaign utilizes virtually all media, including television, radio, transit shelter ads, newspapers and Internet advertising -even video screens at retail locations and gaming sites?
And this website, of course. OLG's public awareness program has three objectives: 1) to increase awareness; 2) to change behaviour; and 3) to build public confidence. Whenever winning tickets of $5,000 or more are validated at a retail location, there is a notification sent to OLG's Support Centre which will immediately call the customer at the store. A New Language Line allows Customer Service Representatives to access interpreters who are able to assist callers in more than 150 languages. News releases of all Insider Wins for prizes of $10,000 or more, and, all lottery prize wins of $1,000 or more, are published on www.OLG.ca. News releases of all lottery wins of $10,000 or more by ‘insiders’ are posted on www.OLG.ca and publicized for 30 days before the prize is paid.
Did you know that before selling or validating a lottery ticket, retailers are required to ask for government issued photo ID from anyone who appears to be under the age of 25?
OLG has policies and procedures on how retailers should handle customers who look under 25 years of age. In addition, OLG provides software on lottery terminals that assists retailers in verifying different types of identification, and to properly interpret the age of the holder.
To further support retailers, OLG provides training and documentation which gives guidance on handling young looking customers.
Signage is also posted in stores advising customers on both the 18+ age requirement to play lottery, and that retailers use ID25 as a tool to manage Age Control.
Did you know that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has regulatory oversight of all OLG lotteries?
All lottery and gaming is carefully regulated for the benefit of everyone in Ontario. This is done by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which reports to Ontario's Attorney General.
AGCO's role is to ensure that casino gaming, charitable gaming and lotteries are carried out in the public interest by people who are socially and financially responsible.
AGCO became the regulator of lottery gaming on January 1, 2008 by authority of the Gaming Control Act, 1992.
Lottery retailers must be registered with AGCO. AGCO registers the principal and/or store manager and their employees who sell and redeem lottery tickets and interviews all registrants who claim lottery prizes of $10,000 and more as part of the prize claim process. AGCO also conducts interviews in the event of suspicious wins.
Reporting Potential Fraud
If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of fraud after purchasing or redeeming your lottery ticket(s), please notify OLG immediately by calling: