I am delighted to introduce myself as Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) new Chief Lottery and Customer Officer. We have exciting plans for the future, and my team and I are looking forward to growing and strengthening Ontario’s thriving lottery business alongside our valued OCSA retail partners.
While I’m new to this position, I’m no stranger to the industry, having held senior roles at OLG for the past five years, including as Senior Vice President of
our People and Culture Division. Prior to that, I enjoyed a long and rewarding career in the Ontario Public Service where I served in a range of portfolios including Deputy Minister of Treasury Board Secretariat and CEO of the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).
In addition to leading the lottery team at OLG, this past January, I took on a two-year term as President of the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC), the body that administers LOTTO 6/49, LOTTO MAX, and Daily
Grand with partners across Canada. I’m confident this will help us forge richer connections with our fellow lottery affiliates across the country and bring strategic insight into opportunities that may lay ahead.
First, a big thank you
The more I’ve learned in this new role, the clearer it has become that your success is critical to OLG’s success. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, convenience stores sold 760 million lottery tickets, representing approximately $3.6
billion in lottery sales or 78 per cent of total lottery revenue. Last year, lottery retailers set an astounding record: $333 million in commissions, with $269 million going to convenience store owners. This includes $24 million in commission resulting from three “Support Local” programs that have been running since 2021. And this is just one year of a very deep-rooted, fruitful partnership. You have underpinned OLG’s success for more than four decades. And that’s why we are continuing to
explore other initiatives that drive higher retail sales and greater commissions.
Even during the darkest days of the pandemic, your doors remained open and lottery sales continued to flourish. Despite the challenges, your commitment resulted in rising lottery sales that, in turn, allowed OLG to deliver on our broader purpose of giving back to Ontario and supporting local communities. Thank you for that commitment and for your ongoing partnership – I'm looking forward to building on this
strong foundation as we move ahead.
We’re gearing up for the future
My team and I have ambitious plans to build on our strength as a trusted brand and evolve the lottery business to drive traffic to lottery retailers, ultimately generating revenue. The marketplace continues to change quickly, and customers have more choices today than ever before. OLG is making sure we’re keeping pace and responding to changing customer expectations.
We’re doing this through
our multi-year strategy that aims at capturing growth opportunities for lottery by engaging new and under-served segments, capitalizing on emerging technological trends in the marketplace and delivering market-leading products and experiences.
We’ve already begun investing in technologies that offer omni-channel experiences to attract new customers. This includes introducing Self-Serve Terminals across Ontario. This technology leverages automation that will boost in-person lottery sales
by meeting shifting trends while also responding to customer preferences for self-checkouts.
We also recently introduced the first fully digital online prize claim process in Canada, making prize claims over $1,000 quicker, easier and more convenient. This new option will also encourage winners to claim prizes under $1,000 in store – another way we intend to increase retail commissions and in-store sales.
By expanding our lottery portfolio with new offerings tailored to evolving
customer preferences, we aim to generate ongoing financial benefits to small businesses and the people of Ontario.
Moving forward, together
I truly appreciate the power of partnerships, which is why as we move forward, we look to you for input. We recognize there are many issues like inflation and digital disruption that continue to impact your businesses, and it’s important we hear your perspective on the unique challenges of retailers. That’s why, last November,
we launched the Voice of Retailer survey. Thank you to the more than 800 convenience retailers who provided feedback. The results were very positive, earning OLG an overall customer satisfaction score of almost 80 per cent. But we did not conduct this survey to simply gauge satisfaction. We strive to be an excellent partner, and your feedback will allow us to better understand your needs so we can shape the future of lottery with your businesses in mind.
I recently met many of our
convenience store partners face-to-face at Convenience U in March. I was incredibly impressed with the retailers I personally spoke with. Your dedication was both admirable and humbling, and left me energized, and with a renewed sense of purpose. It is my mission to ensure OLG provides the right support to help you successfully grow your businesses. You have my commitment that my team and I will make this a top priority.