Direct Services to the Public
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is a Crown corporation whose mission is to develop, undertake, organize, conduct and manage lottery schemes in Ontario. The OLG reports to the Ministry of Finance of Ontario. Autonomous but not independent, this government agency has some 9,800 lottery product sales outlets and 24 gaming establishments across the province.
The abbreviation OLG stands for Ontario Lottery and Gaming. Somewhat like one of its sister corporations, the LCBO, OLG chose this simple abbreviation on the basis of a marketing decision to facilitate brand recognition for both Francophone and Anglophone customers. With this decision, OLG more or less followed in the footsteps of other corporations whose names are abbreviations, such as General Motors (GM), International Business Machines (IBM), the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ).
OLG, whose board of directors is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, is a government agency for the purposes of the French Language Services Act. As such, it is required to provide service to the public in French. The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner acknowledges the efforts that OLG has made over the last five years regarding the delivery of French-language services. The Commissioner is now counting on OLG’s continued cooperation both in processing complaints and in updating the names of lotteries sold to the public.
The Commissioner’s Office has worked closely with OLG in recent years and developed a strong working relationship concerning French-language services.
Through this cooperative relationship, the Commissioner’s Office is pursuing its contacts with OLG regarding the names of its lotteries and INSTANT games. It is encouraging the use of bilingual names, such as “Bingo”, “Encore” and “Lottario”, whenever the opportunity arises. The Commissioner’s Office expects OLG to be able to revise the way in which lottery names are selected to reflect the need for French or bilingual names. This would ensure that English-only names such as “Wheel of Fortune”, “Daily Keno” and “Pick 4” are not used.
Positive measures at the Toronto Prize Centre
The Commissioner’s Office commends the Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for OLG, for the initiatives it has taken at its Toronto Prize Centre on Dundas Street. The Centre is a very special place for lottery winners, because it is where they can claim their prize. According to OLG’s public list of winners, many Francophones have had occasion to visit this prize claiming centre.
In 2013, the Ministry of Finance took steps to comply with the French Language Services Act by introducing a number of measures, including a French-language declaration form, a bilingual welcome carpet, bilingual messages on the TV monitor, a bilingual OLG sign inside and outside the Centre, and signage in both languages at sales outlets. The Commissioner’s Office also acknowledges the Ministry’s assurances regarding the availability of bilingual employees at the Toronto Prize Centre.
Through this close working relationship, the Commissioner’s Office has obtained improvements in the quality and accessibility of French-language services for Ontario’s Francophone community. It is worth noting that OLG received an honourable mention in the 2013-2014 annual report for its support for nine dedicated Francophone events across the province.