Mario's Lottery Groups
"the best way to win"
Updated March 29, 2009

Back to Lottery Blog Index                Home


The following is a copy of the Employee Play Restriction Q&A distributed to all OLG employees in March 2009. The policy is effective April 1, 2009.

Since Mario's Lottery Groups buys Lotto 649 and Super 7 tickets in Alberta, OLG employees are permitted to participate in the groups. The question is addressed in Question 13 of the document.


Employee Play Restriction Questions and Answers


Q1. Who specifically is restricted from playing what?

A1. All OLG employees (full-time, part-time, student employees and any other individual who is directly on OLG’s payroll), including those who are on a paid or unpaid leave, including – but not limited to – short-term disability, long-term disability and maternity leaves.

All individual consultants employed on an ongoing basis on long-term contracts, and those individuals on secondment to OLG from the public sector (i.e., 30 days or greater). The restriction does not include employees of companies who have contracts with OLG.

Prohibition pertains to participation (i.e.: purchase, play or win) in any game of chance operated by OLG. These games comprise:

o All gaming activities at OLG-operated gaming facilities (OLG casinos and slots)

o All gaming activities at Great Blue Heron Casino

o All OLG-operated lottery games including those operated by OLG on behalf of the ILC.

o This prohibition includes participation in group play and subscription play, subscription play as part of a group, purchasing OLG lottery products on behalf of other individuals and accepting OLG lottery products.

o All OLG-operated bingo games (Big Link Bingo and e-Bingo)

o All OLG-operated Sports lotteries, including casino sports

Q2. Can my spouse still buy tickets?

A2. Yes. This restriction applies to employees of OLG (as defined above) only, and does not apply to any family members, including spouses. However, it is important to note that prize claims of family members of OLG employees will continue to be processed under the provisions of the Related Party / Insider Win Policy, meaning any claims of $10,000 or more will be investigated prior to any prize being paid out.

Q3. Is this going to stop my entire family from buying tickets?

A3. The restriction on participation is specific to OLG employees. Family members can still play but will be subject to the provisions of the Related Party / Insider Win Policy, meaning any claims of $10,000 or more will be investigated prior to any prize being paid out.

Q4. Will employees be allowed to purchase lottery tickets as gifts for or on behalf of their family members or friends?

A4. OLG employees are prohibited from participating (purchasing, playing and winning) in all OLG-operated games of chance, therefore the purchase of lottery tickets by OLG employees for any reason, including gift giving and doing so on behalf of another, is prohibited.

Q5. Can employees accept lottery tickets as gifts?

A5. Employees cannot accept lottery tickets as gifts. This restriction prohibits participation in all OLG-operated games of chance, which includes the purchasing, playing and/or winning of lottery games.

Q6. Can an employee purchase a ticket for his/her parents who are elderly and can't get out?

A6. OLG employees are restricted from participating (purchasing, playing and winning) in OLG-operated games of chance; therefore the purchase of lottery tickets by OLG employees for any reason, including doing so on behalf of another person, is prohibited.

Q7. If I have family members play my numbers and they win, how can I guarantee I'll get the money?

A7. We can't. OLG is committed to pay the right person the right prize every time. OLG will pay only the legitimate owner of a ticket and has no involvement in sharing arrangements.

Q8. If we play and we win, can we get the money regardless of if we lose our job?

A8. Because in the game rules, OLG employees are listed as ineligible to participate, OLG will not pay out any winnings to an ineligible participant.

Q9. Kelly McDougald's e-mail on February 6 states "..that we exceed the public's expectation that those who run lottery games do not play." In what way do the employees of the Gaming Division "run lottery games"?

A9. It is OLG the corporation that operates lotteries in Ontario. This prohibition pertains to all OLG employees, regardless of their areas of responsibility or where they work. This decision also makes our rules on employee gaming and lottery play consistent across all lines of our business.

Q10. Will this affect the employees of resort casinos?

A10. Employees of the resort casinos are not OLG employees. They work for private sector companies who manage the day to day operations of these facilities. Resort casino employees will still be able to play lotteries just as OLG employees can participate in gaming activities at the resort casinos, with the exception of those who a hold Key Gaming Registration (License).

Q11. Are we also prohibited from playing bingo?

A11. The restriction extends to all OLG-operated games of chance. This includes the OLG-operated bingo games, Big Link Bingo and e-Bingo.

Q12. Can we still buy lottery tickets using a subscription from other jurisdictions, like Atlantic Lottery or Western Canada Lottery?

A12. Yes. The policy applies to OLG-operated games in Ontario only. Therefore OLG employees may be able to play games operated by other lottery jurisdictions subject to their rules of play.

Q13. Can we play lottery games if we buy our tickets outside of Ontario?

A13. Yes. The policy applies to OLG-operated games in Ontario only. Therefore OLG employees may be able to play games operated by other lottery jurisdictions, including those operated by the ILC such as LOTTO SUPER 7, LOTTO 6/49 and MILLIONAIRE LIFE, etc., subject to their rules of play.

Q14. Can we still play PRO-LINE?

A14. All OLG employees are prohibited from participating in all OLG-operated games of chance; this includes sports lotteries and casino sports.

Q15. I bought my ticket before April 1 and it won. Can I claim my prize after April 1?

A15. OLG-operated games are subject to the rules of play at the time of purchase. So while you would be eligible to claim a prize, it is important to remember that your claim will be processed under the provisions of the Related Party / Insider Win Policy, meaning any claims of $10,000 or more will be investigated prior to any prize being paid out.

Q16. I bought my ticket before April 1 and it won a free play for after April 1. Can I still win on that ticket?

A16. Yes. As stated, the rules apply at the time of purchase. Since your original ticket was purchased prior to April 1, you can still win on your free play subject to a successful investigation under the provisions of the Related Party / Insider Win Policy. These same rules would apply for any tickets that were purchased prior to the April 1 date using the Advance Play option.

Q17. What about subscription play?

A17. The rules of play for OLG-operated games indicate that the status of an individual is determined at the date of purchase. So, if you own or share in a LOTTO 6/49 subscription that was purchased before April 1, 2009, you remain eligible to participate in the remaining draws in that subscription.

In addition, starting March 16, OLG employees are prohibited from purchasing or renewing a subscription or participating in a group that purchases or renews a subscription.

Q18. Will I have to sign an acknowledgement form saying I won't play?

A18. This restriction on participation is written in our game rules. We have communicated this prohibition to you. Signing a form is not required. However, as part of out Performance Management process, employees must sign the Code of Business Conduct. The prohibition on participation in all OLG-operated games of chance is referenced within the document Please ensure you refer to the most recent version before signing your performance review.

Q19. How is this employee restriction going to be enforced?

A19. OLG lottery ticket game rules and ILC lottery ticket game rules and conditions have been revised to list OLG employees as ineligible to participate in these games, just as persons under the age of 18 are ineligible. Everyone who participates in a lottery game is bound by the rules governing that game. The game rules specifically list OLG employees as being ineligible to participate. Persons who are deemed ineligible to participate cannot be awarded a prize if they win.

Q20. Will employees get to see a copy of the policy?

A20. The policy is outlined in the Code of Business Conduct, which is available on InsideOLG. In fact, as part of your regular annual performance review process, you are required to sign off on the Code.

Q21. If this has been in the works for some time, why wasn't this announced before the Employee Engagement Survey?

A21. There is no relationship between the timing of the announcement and the Employee Engagement Survey. The responsibility for making this policy decision rests with the OLG Executive Committee, and the Committee chose to make this decision at this time.

Q22. Won't these play restrictions have a negative impact on OLG lottery revenues?

A22. This decision is about OLG and its employees demonstrating leadership in building the integrity of the organization. It is about building the public's trust, exceeding their expectations about how we conduct ourselves as a company and making the right decision regardless of any revenue impacts.

Q23. Why should we pay for retailers' mistakes?

A23. This decision is about OLG and its employees demonstrating leadership in building the integrity of the organization. It is about building the public's trust and exceeding their expectations about how we conduct ourselves as a company and making the right decision. It also makes our rules on employee gaming and lottery participation consistent across all lines of our business and with other comparable market practices.

Q24. Why aren't retailers prohibited from playing?

A24. We are not ruling anything out at this time. Any changes in policy relating to retailer participation will be communicated at the appropriate time.

Q25. When are you going prohibit retailers from purchasing lottery tickets?

A25. Retailers are being looked at under a separate stream of work. We are not ruling anything out at this time. Any changes in policy or the eligibility of retailers to participate in OLG-operated lotteries will be communicated at the appropriate time.