If you’re like many adults in Ontario, you love the thrill of playing the lottery, visiting a casino either in-person or online, playing bingo or buying scratch-and-win tickets. In fact, Ontarians enjoy these forms of entertainment so much that in years past, their play has generated over $2 billion in proceeds for the province.
As a player, it’s nice to know that the proceeds don’t go into private pockets. Instead, since all gambling in the province is regulated by OLG, that money goes back to towns, cities, charities and other worthwhile causes throughout Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has given back over $50 billion to the people and province of Ontario, supporting everything from schools to shelters, amateur sports programs and more. To help better understand how gambling proceeds are distributed, we thought we’d share a few examples.
Snapshot: Gambling revenue in Ontario in fiscal 2019-2020
- $2.3 Billion net profit to the province
- $2.9 Billion in support of local economies
- $161 Million paid to host municipalities and Ontario First Nations
- $51 Million in charitable gaming proceeds for local charities
- $2 Million in sponsorship for local Ontario festivals and events
A big win for Ontario families
With every dice roll at an Ontario casino, lottery purchase from a retailer or OLG.ca, or bingo session played at a Charitable Gaming Centre, a proportion of each dollar spent goes directly toward improving our communities. In fact, our province’s first lottery was created with this in mind.
Our community-building initiatives include:
- Funding for the Huron’s Women’s Shelter, provided in part by OLG proceeds delivered annually to the municipality of Central Huron. These funds help provide housing, counselling and support for women and children in need. As recently as 2019, funding has also helped the shelter organize community “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” marches to raise awareness on sexual assault and gender violence. Read more here.
- In 2018, PLATO Testing, Canada’s only Indigenous-led and staffed software testing company, became an official vendor for OLG, creating intern placements for underemployed Indigenous youth in the surrounding Sault Ste. Marie area. Since its inception, PLATO has trained more than 170 Indigenous students and injected almost $10 million directly into the Indigenous economy. Read more here.
A grand slam for the province
Another way money spent on gambling supports Ontario is through amateur sports. OLG’s Quest for Gold INSTANT Crossword ticket contributes millions in annual proceeds to Ontario’s Quest for Gold program to help athletes succeed, via Ontario’s Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture.
Over the years, this important program has helped many Ontario athletes achieve world-class status, and big-time wins. Two past recipients of this program include Para Nordic Skier, Collin Cameron, and Grand Slam tennis star and winner of the U.S. Open, Bianca Andreescu. Click here to read more.
A jackpot for local charities
Another important recipient of OLG revenue is Ontario’s charitable sector. Since 2005, players in our Charitable Bingo and Gaming Centres have helped us generate more than $300 million in contributions to more than 2200 charities. This includes:
- After-school programs and school councils
- Food banks
- Medical centres and associations
- Children’s groups
- Music, arts, culture and community performing arts groups
- And a whole lot more
As you can see, when you play the lottery, visit a casino or attend a charitable gaming centre, you’re not only playing for the chance to win yourself, you’re helping our province come out on top, across the board.
Learn more about OLG Supporting Ontario Charities.