Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Chief says "online gambling" is the way to go


"Money is going out of this province to other provinces as well as offshore sites."

It appears that moves to get into online gambling by British Columbia, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces in Canada have stimulated some fresh thinking in Toronto, too.

This week the Toronto Star reported that the new Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation chairman Paul Godfrey has recommended that the province takes another look at offering Internet gambling as potential revenues slip away to rival provinces.

"When you see what's going on in British Columbia, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces ... it's something I would explore," Godfrey told a news conference Friday as he took the helm of OLG, previously wracked by scandals over expense accounts and insider wins .

"Money is going out of this province to other provinces as well as offshore sites," he said.

The OLG has undergone an extensive restructuring, starting at board level with five new members appointed by Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. The moves have triggered speculation that the government may be looking to privatise the company, which contributes Cdn$1.9 million to provincial coffers annually.

However, Godfrey insisted that such a strategy was not a "front burner thing" and the decision would rest with the government.

Godfrey said he can't "un-ring" the damage of past scandals but he intends to "build back the public trust" in the Crown agency, where Internet gaming could be one of the options to boost profits for the cash-strapped province, which faces a record deficit of Cdn$24.7 billion this year.

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