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Ontario online gambling venture confirmed

The chairman of Ontario Lottery and Gaming, Paul Godfrey, confirmed Friday that the organisation has been tasked by the provincial government to prepare to enter the internet gambling sector in 2012.

The chairman referred to the major project, which will see Ontario following in the regulated internet gambling steps of Quebec and British Columbia, in a statement on the re-structuring of the OLG management.

He said that the restructuring was intended to not only improve the current efficiency of the agency, but also to meet the needs of a recently expanded mandate from government.

"This renewed mandate includes building towards a 2012 launch of Internet Gaming, a process that will be overseen throughout by the Board's newly struck Social Responsibility Committee," Godfrey said.

"We are working towards establishing both a new channel of business within the agency and a new standard for safe, secure and responsible on-line play within the broader gaming industry. Our intent ultimately is to capture a portion of the half billion dollars Ontario residents send out of the province each year through on-line gaming."

Godfrey named Tom Marinelli for the role of Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer and Chief Information Officer. A longtime OLG veteran, Marinelli has in recent months performed well as Acting CEO. The Board has also appointed Preet Dhindsa, a skilled and experienced manager, as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Incumbents for other positions such as president and CEO and Chief Operating Officer are still being sought.

The revised management structure will be smaller in its overall number of positions -- down to seven members from ten - but greater in its level of accountability.

It will consist, at its core, of four key officers elevated from the rest - a newly expanded and more complex President & CEO role and three newly created Executive Vice President positions.

"This restructured executive management team with heightened responsibilities will come at approximately the same cost to the taxpayer as the previous structure. Executive 'perks' will be eliminated within this new structure, a decision rendered by OLG even before the recent announcement from the provincial government," Godfrey said.

Godfrey's statement included some interesting general OLG statistics; he revealed that the corporation employs 18,000 direct and indirect employees work and generates over Cdn$6 billion in revenue annually.

It provides close to Cdn$2 billion to the Ontario province to support hospitals, education, amateur sport, culture and charities, and injects an additional Cdn$1.6 billion into the Ontario economy on an annual basis, including just shy of Cdn$445 million in 2010 alone in support to the municipalities that house its gaming sites and the horse racing industry.

Nearly $200 million more was paid out in commissions to the 10,000 retailers who sell OLG lottery products.

Source: InfoPowa News

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