Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp loses chairman & board members

20th May 2013 8:25 am GMT

Canada’s Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has appointed Ontario’s secretary of the cabinet Peter Wallace as its new interim chairman following last week’s dismissal of Paul Godfrey.

Godrey was ousted as chairman of the OLG by Premier Kathleen Wynne last Thursday, with the rest of OLG’s board of directors resigning en masse immediately following the announcement.

Godfrey was appointed chairman in February 2010 following an expense account scandal at OLG which led to former OLG chairman Michael Gough and the entire board of directors to stand down.

His term was due to expire in February 2015.

“Mr. Godfrey brought seasoned leadership and deep commitment to his role as Chair of OLG,” said Ontario’s Finance Minister Charles Sousa. “Under his leadership, OLG re-invented itself and became a modern and more efficient organization.  

“OLG undertook a strategic business review of its entire operations that brought greater focus and discipline to this important public agency.

“The Government of Ontario appreciates the commitment that Mr. Godfrey has made as Chair of OLG, and thanks him for the significant accomplishments made during this period.”

As part of OLG’s modernization plan, the lottery agency will launch its own online gaming operation, PlayOLG.ca, later this year in partnership with SPIELO G2. The first phase will include lottery and gaming offerings, followed later by bingo, sports betting online poker and the introduction of other new products.

Sousa confirmed that Secretary of the Cabinet Peter Wallace has been appointed interim chairman, effective immediately to assist with the ongoing implementation of the OLG's modernization plan.
It is thought that Godfrey’s sudden departure was a result of the collapse of the provincial government’s casino modernization plan, which included a new down-town Toronto casino, of which Godfrey was a strong advocate.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said last week that any deal for a casino in the city would have to include at least $100m a year in hosting fees, with Ontario government currently offering just $53.7m.

“With the ousting of Paul Godfrey as Chairman of the OLG and the further resignation of members of the OLG Board, the entire modernization process must now be graded as a massive failure that unnecessarily bullied and divided communities throughout Ontario,” said Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Monte McNaughton. “Frankly, this all could have been avoided had the government focused on the important issues facing our province like health care and education.”

OLG has made no official comment on the departure of its chairman and board of directors but will continue to be led by president and CEO Rod Phillips.

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