华社广告铺天盖地 OLG彩票销售额一落千丈
Lottery sales drop despite OLG soaring marketing expenses targeting Chinese community


“Traveling around the world, whenever you want and wherever you want!”


A full-page ad with the popular tagline has constantly appeared in a variety of Chinese community newspapers.  Over the years, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has spent a large amount of money trying to lure the Chinese immigrants to purchase lottery tickets. The advertising campaign seems to be one of the largest in Ontario Chinese community – in terms of scale, frequency and costs.  

Lottery is a form of gambling, and the Chinese migrants are known to be more vulnerable to problem gambling across Canadian. But putting moral issues aside, OLG supporters argues that selling Lottery tickets can swell the provincial coffers, as the net incomes of the gambling revenues are passed to the province for healthcare spending. 


But the crown corporation that monopolies the province lucrative gambling industry seems less concerned about its financial bottom line, and throw away Ontarians’ money on excessive marketing campaigns that generate little or even negative financial gains. 


The OLG has a history of overusing marketing dollars. It is one of the few monopolies in Canada trying to use marketing campaign to “woo” consumers away from “competitors” that have never existed. According to media report, for over the five fiscal years ending 2011, the OLGs spent almost $1.5 billion, or 4.6 per cent of the $31 billion of its total revenues on marketing and promotion, which translated to about $143 per person 18 years old and over in the province. 


This $1.5 billion marketing expenses have very poor return-on-investment results. It only increased revenue by $581 million from 2007 to 2011, but with net income that went to the government coffer rising only by $71 million.  In other words, for one dollar of net income, they spent four dollars on marketing.

但是,OLG的营销开支在近年来仍在继续节节攀升,而其营收却持续恶化,进一步凸显出其营销策略的失败。根据OLG最近公布的年报,Lotto Max和Lotto 6/49彩票销售量大幅下降,使安省省府收入远低于所预期额度。

But the OLG’s marketing expenses have continued to rise in recent years, while it fared even worse in revenues and income, which further amplifies the failure of its marketing strategy. According to the OLG recently released annual report, there is a sharp drop in sales of Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49 tickets, translating into lower-than-expected revenue for the Ontario government.  

在2014-15财年,安省彩票总收入较预算标准低$6210万元或6.9%,比前一财年下降$4660万元或5.3%。其中在华裔社区大力推广的Lotto Max和Lotto 6/49彩票销售额比前一财年下降了$1.675亿元或约11.9%。

For the 2014-15 fiscal year, the total lottery revenues were $62.1 million or 6.9% lower than the budget, and $46.6 million or 5.3 per cent lower than in the previous year. Sales of Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49 -which was heavily promoted in the Chinese community -- dropped $167.5 million, or about 11.9% from the previous fiscal year.  

The declining lottery sales has caused the OLG to pay less to the government. With OLG's revenues from casinos and slots added to the lottery takings, the corporation paid $2.043 billion to the province of Ontario, down 1.6 per cent from the 2013-14 figure of $2.077 billion, according to the CBC report. 


The OLG attribute the drop to a marked reduction in the number of higher value jackpot draws, but that flimsy explanation can hardly make its defunct marketing strategies any more acceptable. 


The sales drop has occurred at the time when the marketing costs climbed. According to the annual report, the marketing expenses surged higher in 2014-15 fiscal year than the previous year. 


With the soaring expenses, it’s no surprise to see big OLG ads (sometimes double full-page ads) appearing all over the place in the community papers – including the World Journal that came into its demise earlier this year due to its dwindling readership.  Apparently, it is Ontarian lottery consumers who pick up the tab. 


As financial mismanagement and excessively spending plague the Ontario government, it is time for the OLG to review its marketing strategies, to stop the entitlement spending and to increased its accountability and transparency to Ontarians.

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