In addition to being perhaps the most corrupt crown corporation in the history of crown corporations, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation also apparently has a very thin skin when it comes to criticism.
As astute viewers likely know, from time to time, I purchase Pick 3 and Pick 4 lottery tickets. Like everyone else, I’d like to score a little jackpot. But secondly, I feel it is my duty to monitor the ongoing egregious behaviour of the OLG, especially when it comes to paying out on winning lottery tickets.
You may recall I scored a lotto win of almost $2,200 back in July. And when I went to the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to claim my winnings, I was denied. For those keeping score, this was the fourth time in a row. Once again, the OLG staffers had concerns that I was not “the rightful purchaser of the ticket” … even though:
1. I had filled out two pages of the required paperwork.
2. I had correctly identified the city and the retailer where the ticket was purchased.
3. My signature was on the back of the ticket.
4. I provided government-issued photo identification.
So, what is the unspoken reason that the OLG refuses to pay up? Well, it doesn’t like how I have reported on the OLG’s behaviour these past few decades. And so it is that the OLG decides to shoot the messenger.
Oh, sure, this entity does not have a leg to stand on given the evidence provided. But the OLG’s strategy is that it likes to rag the puck, only paying up when it is threatened litigation or when someone proceeds with litigation. When that happens, the OLG reverses its position and deems that its prize denial was an error. Pettiness beyond words.
But for me, this last prize-denying incident was the final straw. Which is to say I went ahead and filed a small claims lawsuit, not only asking for the prize amount but asking for punitive damages. Indeed, what the OLG is doing is abuse of regulatory authority and perhaps it is up to a judge to inform this entity that is NOT above the law.
Serving the court papers at the Prize Centre was amusing. The staff wouldn’t open the door to take delivery of the papers, so I had to slide the document between the locked doors. Why? Who knows?
And then confirming my theory as to why the OLG acts so egregiously toward me was the comment of an OLG security guard who professed his disdain toward me because I’m “always stirring the pot.” I guess “stirring the pot” is the equivalence of exposing the OLG’s ongoing bad behaviour. But how about this as a concept: why doesn’t the OLG act simply act responsibly and lawfully? This monopoly’s very existence is based upon the tenet of “social responsibility” after all. So, as opposed to carrying out vendettas against journalists that expose their irresponsible behaviour, why doesn’t the OLG live up to its mission statement?
And if the OLG thinks its stance is in indeed righteous – i.e., that it is entitled to embrace cancel culture when it comes to those who are “always stirring the pot” – well, soon, the OLG will have an opportunity to literally tell it to the judge.