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OLG, Liberals Will Get Less Money From Bingo Than Racing

Published: June 15, 2012 11:33 am ET

Last Comment: June 23, 2012 7:17 pm ET | 16 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

After being extremely vague about the revenue distribution structure for Ontario's bingo halls, the Ontario Liberal Government, via the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., has announced what the revenue sharing breakdown will be, and it is not even close to as good for the province or host municipalities as what it is under the slots-at-racetracks program.

The Wednesday, June 13 print edition of The Peterborough Examiner ran an article that quoted OLG Spokesman Tony Bitonti in regard to the revenue structure, which has been termed 'Net Win.'

Net Win will see revenues from bingo halls spilt four ways: the bingo hall operators will retain 47 per cent of the revenues; the OLG will scoop up 25 per cent; local charities will get 25 per cent, and the host municipality will get three per cent.

Under the current slots-at-racetracks program, which the Ontario Liberals inexplicably want to scrap, the province retains 75 per cent of the revenue derived from alternative gaming parlours housed within racetracks. The host racetracks receive 10 per cent of the revenue and the host municipalities receive five per cent. The horse-racing industry then receives the last 10 per cent --- which, in turn, creates $2-billion in annual economic impact; employs up to 60,000 Ontarians; is part of $261-million in annual monies for the province; attracts foreign investment and helps fund Ontario's healthcare and education programs.

A crucial element of the OLG's gaming modernization plan --- which was announced completely below the radar --- is that bingo halls will be the recipient of slots-like pull-tab machines.

The report has also quoted Bitonti as saying that the OLG's role in the new framework is to “come in and help revitalize the (bingo hall) industry.” It appears as though the move to help revitalize the apparently-important bingo hall industry would come at the expense of the 60,000-worker, $1.361-billion direct-revenue-producing Ontario horse-racing industry.

In regard to the bingo-hall industry, The Peterborough Examiner article quoted Bitonti as saying, “It’s an industry in decline, but because it serves the charities in the communities, we can’t let this die off.”

(With files from The Peterborough Examiner)

June 23, 2012 - 7:17 pmNot mentioned by duncan was

Not mentioned by duncan was his secret deal to install slot machines at bingo halls. Who owns the bingo halls? Larry Tannenbaum, the former chair of the liberal party. What percentage of slot revenues is his friend getting from this untendered contract? 47%. What percentage of slot revenues will the province get from bingo halls? 25%. Compare that to the 75% of slot revenues the province WAS receiving from the slots at racetracks, and you will see that duncan does not care about education or health. He does not care about fighting the deficit. He only cares about lining the pockets of his buddies while the rest of the province goes down the drain.

June 19, 2012 - 2:21 pmI agree Chuck.As part owner

john smith SAID...

I agree Chuck.As part owner and trainer
I see the gov´t as barney fife.They
would take their gun and one bullet
and shoot themselves in the foot.
Question....How many farmers producing
hay and straw are hurt,feed producers
for horses are hurt,blacksmiths are
hurt,breeders,horse specializing vets,
insurance handlers for the industry
are also hurt and so on.
Oh| and one more thing.....JOBS lost
also means lost tax revenue dollars
from personal income of all these
lost jobs.

June 17, 2012 - 1:51 amDear Jack you are correct the

Dear Jack you are correct the OLG does not make 75 percent but they also had none of the set up costs of any business but I need to understand your much used comment about the government getting out of the racing business. The govt is involved in the variety store business the gas station business and liqour business. What you believe is that the government should get out of all businesses where government regulated products are sold. I agree why not get the OLG out of the racetracks and leave the revenues and the costs to be handled by the racetracks and at the end we will pay the government 25 percent.One last question for Jack Is the money that the bingo halls and charities recieve a subsidy or a revenue sharing agreement. My other suggestion for Jack would be to round up a few of his Liberal friends and go out to a night at the races and you might finally understand why your comments about under the table payments are distateful and irrelevent to the big issues regarding funding the racing industry.

June 16, 2012 - 2:02 pmMr. Feeley Thankyou! for your

John Taylor SAID...

Mr. Feeley
Thankyou! for your comments they are soooo true and we definitely need to be incensed!
'Joe Public' in the community (that isn't personally involved nor reads the SCA webpage articles/updates) know very little of the wide spread impact this will create.
I have been emailing webpage articles/updates to friends/acquaintances because we need to reach more people to educate them about how devastating this Liberal gov't iniatitive really is to a very large group of fellow Ontarioans
Especially now that it looks like our minoriity Liberal gov't has concerns about passing their McGinty/Duncan budget and (hopefully!!) have to call a summer election.
We have to rally together and yes 'TAKE OFF THE GLOVES'.
I am being selfish here...this is my lively hood and many, many others.

June 15, 2012 - 5:46 pmGentleman and ladies, This

James Feeley SAID...

Gentleman and ladies, This minutia is only interesting in a post mortem of your industry. Make no mistake about it : this is life or death for the industry in Ontario.
They are destroying your livelihood. They are not, and have not, bargained in good faith.They are not serving the best interests of the average Ontarian. It looks like, just scraping the surface here, that there is conflict after conflict of interest with your, sorry, hack politicians.
You guys did not watch your henhouse. You took these good times for granted and you have to play catchup real quick, or your dire predictions will ring true.You should be incensed: you should take this as personally as a heart attack and if you don't you can continue to argue later, after the purses go down to the 2k- 5k world. I have met lots of you guys. You are way smarter than these pols. Get Gural and my neighber who owns Winbak to show you how to take off the gloves. I am not being selfless here: I have a really good mare in foal to an Ontario Stallion and a nice piece of a 2yo filly...and we ain't rich. If I peed you off, I have accomplished what I set out to do. This fight is yours to lose; but you don't have to.

Jim Feeley, Salt Hill Farm Pine Bush , N.Y.(proud longtime partners in Ontario racing)

June 15, 2012 - 5:34 pmYour right the catholic

Tammy Aspden SAID...

Your right the catholic teachers all donated $ 50.00 per week from their paycheques to the Liberal Governent. I also heard they are not happy with the Liberals and are looking at going on strike in the fall because of what is in this budget ! We need a summer election.. If you add in what he is doing to the doctors ! It's not surprising he is taking a BILLION DOLLARS from the doctors when he just eliminate the same amount from his coffers when he cancelled the slots at the racetrack program ! It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that one out ! He has no way of replacing that money so he eliminated a
BILLION DOLLERS in spending . But who is going to pay for this ? We are when there are no doctors left in the province !

June 15, 2012 - 5:29 pmJack you might want to read

Norm Brunet SAID...

Jack you might want to read the report the OHRIA presented to the Standing Committee of Finance and Economic Affairs. Actually no need to read it just look at the graphs (pictures).18,000 employees at the OLG of which 4000 work at SAR's. Big question for you, what are the other 14,000. employee's doing and what money are they bringing in to the OLG. They also paid 946.6 Million dollars in wages to those 18,000 employee's for an average of $56,800. per employee. Needless to say we did not get into this deficit position by chance.
OHIP cost is 11 Billion $ a year, Dr's take 17% of that so where is the other 83% going ?

June 15, 2012 - 4:48 pmRe jack saunders: So what you

Derek Reid SAID...

Re jack saunders:

So what you are saying is that because the olg runs an inefficient and bloated fiefdom, that justifies them ending their most profitable program? It also justifies them turning around and handing untendered contracts to their politcally connected friends? Where in this back door deal with the bingo halls does it say their costs are also going down? I'm sure change/add/moves do not account for the difference between the 75% they were recieving from SAR and the 25% they will be getting from bingo. That is why the fight should NOT be over, and should never be over. Sneaky, underhanded governments should never be given free reign to lie, and apparently cheat and steal from the citizenary. I am not willing to lie down and let the government act in this fashion. Jack, if you are, well the old expression 'if you are unwilling to act then you only get the government you deserve' would certainly apply to you.

Derek Reid

June 15, 2012 - 4:21 pmJack, Do you think for one

Chuck Ibey SAID...

Jack, Do you think for one minute that the province won't have salaried people overlooking(accounting)this money? The horse industry is not paid under the table! They are treated as a private contract worker who are responsible for their own income tax etc. That way there are not all the deductions etc for EI etc. That is certainly a detriment for those people when it comes to getting some of those re-training dollars or applying for EI. Let's hope they don't have to go there. Throwing crap out there about under the table wages etc. only hurts us, so let't not go there.
I think you will find also that the salaries paid at OLG are not all tied to racing, just the contrary. They have I believe in the are of 239 people making over $100,000 annually OLG and some titles are simply "manager"! Of what? They need Mr Godfrey to clean up his "little kingdom" and perhaps more money stays with the Gov't.
See my 1st comments and if we had that playing field I would believe horse racing would certainly thrive even more.
I believe charity bingos are in trouble and perhaps we should recognize that and assist some charities as well! jmo It certainly should not come at the expense of destroying an entire industry though.
Yes the gov't took some shared costs, but the cost of renovations at the racetracks however was paid for by the tracks and horsemen and women not the Gov't., that reads no capital investment for the gov't in the beginning...I believe that was a reasonable trade-off. If you read the gov'ts' own reports about how much money from Slots and Parimutual wagering that goes each year to Healthcare, Education etc. this has been a wiw/win relationship. How many jobs do you think those Bingo/VLT type machines are going to bring?

June 15, 2012 - 3:22 pmThey be getting less in %

Jim Singer SAID...

They be getting less in % payment of the "net win" but they won't have the overhead they currently have.

The whole thing, the OLG got 1.1 billion from slots as racetrack program, but took a share of costs (CAM) charges and most of it went to salaries. They netted far less than the 75% as advertised.

This is plain and simnple why they want to opt of of the program of running an industry they shouldn't have gotten into the first place. See other provinces.

I truly believe, although disputable, roughly 50% of the industry is paid under the table. This is why the government doesn't recognize employment numbers from the like of OHRIA, how the transition money is doled out, good luck with that if no one is on employment records anywhere.

The fight is over, time to reinvent the future, and fast....

June 15, 2012 - 3:08 pmDuring the coming election,

During the coming election, the media will no doubt get hold of all this information. Wouldn't it be wonderful if McGinty and Duncan didn't get elected in their own ridings. The more we hear about the Liberals the more it is evident they sure do not pass the smell test. Really stinky bunch of fellows. Bruce T Winning

June 15, 2012 - 1:57 pmRemember this: "One of the

Carolyn Rae SAID...

Remember this:

"One of the larger Bingo operators in Ontario is Boardwalk Gaming and Entertainment, a company linked to the Kilmer Group, a private investment holding company owned by Larry Tanenbaum (owner of the majority of the Bingo Halls in Ontario, and close personal friend of Paul Godfrey), that also owns an interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment."

How in the world does this not STINK. It OOZES CORRUPTION BETWEEN PAUL GODFREY AND HIS "BUDDY" TANENBAUM! Bingo Hall Operator (Tanenbaum & probably Godfrey under the table) gets 47%, OLG 25%, local charities 25% and Host Municipalities 3%.

If Gambling is indeed to be privatized, where do we hear any mention of tendering for this take-over? Is tendering now gone by the wayside with this Government, or do they also have a hidden clause allowing them to hand this cash cow to a "buddy" to run and reap profit.

Less money for the Government (25% instead of 75%), LESS MONEY FOR THE HOST MUNICIPALITY (3% instead of current 5%), IN EXCHANGE FOR WHAT?, the current 1.1 billion annually and the taxes paid by the 60,000+ Ontarians currently employed in this industry. COME ON! There certainly must be someone else besides Godfrey getting some sort of pay off in this rotten deal!!!

Why are we not hearing more from the AMO? We need to band together with the other Unions being sold down the river and ignored by this Liberal Gov't.

We absolutely must hire a competent law firm (check out Cavalluzzo Hayes McIntrye in Toronto 416 964 1115, very successful Labour Lawyers)to dig into this scandal before Horse Racing Ontario bites the dust to line the pockets of McGuinty, Duncan, Godfrey and possibly other MPPs.

The whole thing STINKS! Were the ORNGE, E-Health and OLG previous scandals not enough.

Yes, Yes please take it to the people. I have been told the Catholic Teacher's Assoc. subsidized the Liberal party with pay cheque deductions payable to the Liberal party, last time. If this is indeed true, we need to voice our concerns to these organizations as well. Let's hope and pray they don't do it this time.

After reneging on most, if not all, of their election promises, let's see if there are still enough "blind" Ontarians to put the foxes in charge of the chicken house again next election! I would certainly hope not!

June 15, 2012 - 1:47 pmThey need to save the bingo

Norm Brunet SAID...

They need to save the bingo industry ! Talk about throwing gas on the fire.

June 15, 2012 - 1:27 pm47% of the slot profits to

47% of the slot profits to the owners, why am I not surprised.

First, they did it in British Columbia, now they are about to do it in Ontario. The players are the same. Boardwalk Gaming, The OLG and the Liberals.

June 15, 2012 - 1:15 pmGood comment Chuck. Gee, I

Randy Young SAID...

Good comment Chuck.
Gee, I wonder how many people are employed by the "Bingo Hall Industry" ... seeing that our Ontario Liberals feel obligated to revitalize them at the expense of 60,000 jobs in the Horse Racing Industry ... or are they just trying to keep some of their big supporters happy. Pathetic !

June 15, 2012 - 12:41 pmJust as I have stated there

Chuck Ibey SAID...

Just as I have stated there is the Liberals gaming strategy. The Liberals changed the regulation to include video gaming (read-VLTs)and that will add thousands of video gaming and pull tab type games to the now 60 bingo halls in the province. Surprise that the operators of the Peterborough bingo will be called Delta Bingo which is a partnership between Delta and Boardwalk Gaming and Entertainment.

I am sure that communities are unaware of the governments' plan to unleash VLT type gaming into their communities. If any of you know municipal councillors they might like to know of this strategy; after all, the other Regulation change the Liberals made was, public consultation is all that is needed.

Perhaps it's time the government allowed racetracks to have video bingo between the 17 track sites, table games and slot machines. Let us bet at all convenience stores on Super Pick 7 or 8s with million dollar or more jackpots. Let racing share ownership, maintenance etc of the gaming machines at tracks and we will give them the same $7.50 of every $100 that bingo halls give them.
While we are at it they can stop the provincial take-out(Parimutual Tax) on wagered dollars.

Stay tuned everyone hopefully there is an election; the Conservatives and NDP are in the red and need their election coffers topped up; so time for us to dig down and help eliminate that deficit in both parties and in particular the Conservatives.

Chuck Ibey

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