Lottery Commission Won’t Start Selling Online Games Until Next February After New Business Model Delayed

A new gambling marketplace for Ontario will not debut until February after the sale of new casino licenses has been delayed because the online systems that would be used to bid on the lottery, and pay for bingo tickets, is not yet ready, sources told the Star.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) head Paul Godfrey confirmed to the Star that the province’s new lottery sales system, due to debut on Nov. 30, is now expected to begin on Feb. 9.

Godfrey, who is also the chairman of Trinity Global Group, an Ontario-based gaming company.

He did not comment on how long the online service may take to prepare.

“We now will look at giving people a mechanism to play OLG Lottery Draws online and for lotto [sweepstakes], which were originally expected to occur on Nov. 30,” Godfrey told the Star in an interview.

To try to convince lottery buyers to play online instead of at the traditional venues, OLG is offering lower odds on its exclusive games, such as its “in-game amounts and currency offering from casinos and gaming sites,” Godfrey said.

“It will always be pay me now,” Godfrey said, adding that it will be “more convenient and more secure” to use online than a hand in the casino.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the new arrangement, which pits OLG, the government’s gambling revenue stream, against private gaming companies, may benefit either the public or the private companies.

Trinity Global Group, owned by the seven-times married millionaire, Godfrey, operates the online gaming website, as well as a slot machine and video lottery kiosk-style bingo gaming operation, Godfrey’s other business.

A spokesperson for Godfrey told the Star the news would have little effect on its operations.

“We will be proceeding as planned and will continue to process sales online as per our usual processes,” the spokesperson said.

Stated the spokesperson, “The process will allow customers to play our game online and have a more convenient and more secure way to pay online and buy lottery tickets online.”

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