Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation faces tough times, as Premier Doug Ford recently scolded it for bonuses payments to executives. About 450 individuals on executive positions are eligible for bonuses linked to their daily work in 2019 and they are going to bag them despite the unprecedented situation including layoffs, closed casino complexes, and revenue loss.
The lockdown that commenced mid-March has taken its toll on the gaming field of Canada and Ontario, as all brick-and-mortar casino venues had to close for business and wait for better days. This included all of the casinos and gaming halls overseen by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. The revenue loss due to these closures is projected to surpass the CA$200 million mark.
Bonuses for Executives
For the time being, it is hard to pinpoint one particular figure that could reflect the gaming revenue loss the Crown corporation has experienced over the past five months. It could easily surpass the CA$200 million mark. There are also thousands of individuals associated with the casino venues that have been laid off in order to help Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s operation.
While all of this is happening, it became clear that the Crown corporation paid some 450 executives the bonuses they have deserved through their work. Premier Ford pointed out that this is an unfair move that does not correspond with the overall situation within the country and the province. The executives managed to earn more than CA$100,000 back in 2019 and they are eligible for the additional payments.
Tony Bitonti, Director, External Communications at Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, pointed out that the payments are linked to their personal performance over 2019 and the Crown corporation had to take care of its obligations. Mr. Bitonti did not reveal the size of the bonuses paid out to OLG executives. Premier Ford pointed out that some 15,000 individuals are still waiting for the day they will be allowed to return to their place of work.
Premier Scolds the Corporation
The Crown corporation overseeing gaming in Ontario also pointed out that bonus payments are an obligation that should be fulfilled, otherwise lawsuits are bound to be filed. The executives will inevitably demand the additional payment they are eligible for. Premier Ford stated that careful consideration of the situation across the province should have taken place.
He also made it clear that executives could receive their bonuses next year, or at least until life returns to its normal pace. Rod Philips, Finance Minister, will be looking into the Crown corporation in the foreseeable future. It could be recalled that the month of May saw the government give a CA$500-million loan to the gaming leader. The amount had to support OLG’s operational costs, along with contractual obligations.
Such support was bound to happen, as the unprecedented situation was slowly taking its toll on the Crown corporation. Last week, the corporation revealed that the expected revenue has dropped to CA$600 million, even though projections were for CA$809 million earlier this year.