The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) announced last week (Nov. 26) that it has received recognition from the World Lottery Association (WLA) for having the “Best Overall Responsible Gaming Program” for 2014. The WLA presented the award during the biennial general meeting, World Lottery Summit held in Rome last November 05, 2014.
As a backgrounder, the WLA began recognizing the outstanding responsible gaming achievements of WLA members since 2008, by recognizing the WLA member who observes the best practices in promoting responsible gambling. The objective of which is to provide an exceptional responsible gaming model that lottery and business organizations can use as guide, in their bid to attain the highest standards of responsible gaming and in developing a sustainable lottery enterprise.
The Responsible Gaming Independent Assessment Panel (RGIAP) comprising leaders and experts in the fields of corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and governance selects the winner. Four world leaders in their area of expertise are chosen as members of the assessment panel, based on their considerable experience in diverse sectors such as finance, marketing, manufacturing, retail, government, telecommunication, and sports. Although each member must have connections to academic and research organizations, their views and advice for best practices, are based on a “real world” standpoint and less of the academic perspective.
The RGPIAP assessed the documents submitted by more than 140 WLA member organizations coming from across the globe, for which the submissions include proofs of program improvements undertaken, of initiatives for future improvements, and of actions taken in response to the RGIAP’s previous certification assessment and evaluation. Only those awarded with a Level 4 certification are eligible to vie for the “Best Overall Responsible Gaming Program Award,” the highest recognition bestowed to a WLA member.
In receiving the prestigious international award, OLG Acting President and CEO Tom Marinelli commented that they are proud of the standard they pursue when it comes to responsible gambling, and of the continuing recognition of their program. Mr. Marinelli added that for the past nine years, they have collaborated with problem gambling specialists in order to develop a responsible gambling program proven as effective.
Through the work provided by problem gambling experts and foremost researchers, OLG was able to develop an enterprise-wide program for responsible gambling that furnishes players with information they can use in making informed choices. Moreover, the acting OLG CEO explained that they deliver effective support services through employees who have received comprehensive training, and by way of innovative technology, as well as by working with community organizations.
Mr. Marinelli gives assurance that while they have attained great achievements, they will never cease to make improvements steered by external research and based on the expectations of OLG customers.
Future improvements include OLG’s ongoing modernization initiatives of taking on private sector service providers who will manage specific day-to-day lottery and gaming operations in the province of Ontario. Doing so will make OLG a leaner organization, with greater focus in managing and promoting the lottery and gaming business and in maintaining the highest standards for a Responsible Gambling program.