Lottery Retailers Investigated In British Columbia

Ticket sellers observed in ticket theft inquiries

According to government briefing notes, prepared for the British Columbia provincial Solicitor General Shirley Bond in January this year, criminal charges for theft and fraud are threatening three lottery ticket vendors in Canada.

The possible charges are the result of a province-wide investigation by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch into the theft of winning lottery tickets by ticket retailers. It is claimed that the investigation detected sufficient evidence to recommend theft and fraud charges in three cases, without identifying the guilty .

It was in 2007 when the provincial ombudsman Kim Carter concluded that the B.C. Lottery Corporation did not have adequate procedures to ensure correct prize amounts are paid out to the rightful owners of winning tickets.

An investigation two years later found that lottery clerks in Manitoba were claiming prizes at a disproportionately high rate, and a year later similar inquiries in Ontario showed that three members of a ticket retailer's family were charged with the theft of a $12 million lottery prize in 2003.

Surprisingly uncommon are reports of lottery ticket retailers at small convenience stores concealing winning lottery tickets and telling the buyers that they had not won.

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