There’s long been the debate between local residents as to whether living near a casino is a good thing, or a bad thing. Some say they create jobs and boost the economy. Others argue casinos increase crime and traffic. When it comes time for host communities of Ontario casinos to collect their quarterly share of the casino wins, no one is complaining.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) released its quarterly revenue share to Ontario casino host communities last week. The 23 municipalities that host OLG Slots operations saw their community coffers swell to the collective tune of $26,732,737; an average of $1.16 million per community.
That figure, based on revenue collected in the fourth quarter of 2016 (October to December), brings the total paid host revenue from Ontario casinos to more than $1.3 billion.
The OLG generates approximately $2 billion in revenue annually, making it the single largest contributor to the Ontario government in terms of non-tax revenue. The payments made to host municipalities are calculated per an equitable formula dictated by individual Municipality Contribution Agreements with the corresponding communities.
According to the OLG, the size of each host’s quarterly payment is “based on an escalating scale of gaming revenue that is consistent across all sites in Ontario.” Essentially, the more a host’s casino wins, the more funds the municipality will receive.
“OLG provides host communities with significant revenue each year that helps them invest in local priorities such as infrastructure, programs and services that benefit Ontario families,” said the province’s Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, in Friday’s press release.
“Along with supporting local development, these funds also benefit Ontario’s vital public services such as health care and education,” he said.
The revenue generated by Ontario casinos also helps to support charities throughout the province. In the 2016-17 fiscal year, OLG Slots contributed $115 million in gaming revenue to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, tasked with dispersing those funds to a wide range of provincial and local charity groups.
The government also allocates a portion of the revenue it receives from Ontario casinos – a total of $38 million in FY 2016-17 – to the province’s problem gambling prevention, treatment and research program.
About Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
The OLG was established by the government of Ontario in 1975 to provide a socially responsible gaming environment. The OLG is responsible for conducting and managing all casino facilities in the province, as well as Ontario’s lottery sales, all bingo and electronic games at charitable gaming centres, and as of January 2015, the province’s online gambling portal, PlayOLG.com.
Over the last 42 years, OLG has helped raised more than $43 billion for the government, host communities and the people of Ontario. That money is used to support the operation of local and province-wide charities, hospitals and problem gambling prevention, treatment and research.
It also helps support the proliferation of amateur sports through the Quest for Gold program. This program allows young athletes in Ontario to apply for grants to help pay for training, education, access to high performance coaching, and give them more competitive opportunities to excel in their sport.