Ontario Lottery and Gaming says blended retailer commission rate the highest in Canada

October 17, 2023 12:15 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
October 17, 2023 12:15 PM
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Ontario

Last week, Pierre Richer hopped on a stage in Montreal with Loto-Québec president and CEO Jean-Francois Bergeron to accept a cheque for $50 million, the province’s latest Lotto Max draw winner.

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Bergeron only comes out for the big prize presentations like this one. Richer, who has worked in shipping for 40 years, said he has no plans to retire. He said the windfall would allow him to realize his lifelong dream of owning a home on the outskirts of Montreal. But he did say he’ll take some well-deserved “me time”.

Richer is one of many fortunate ones. Bergeron said last year, they awarded $1.5 billion to lottery winners in the province. But what many people don’t realize is the individual lotto draw winner isn’t the only person celebrating.

While Richer was collecting his prize, the people who run the retail store where he bought the Lotto Max ticket, Super C on Boulevard Champlain in Montreal, were also celebrating. Super C received a one percent commission of $500,000 from Loto-Québec. That’s pretty good money.

Every province has a different commission structure for retailers who sell winning lottery tickets.

In the last fiscal year, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation paid more than $330 million in commissions to approximately 10,000 retail partners across the province, Tony Bitonti, an OLG spokesperson, said. In fiscal 2009-10, that number was $196 million – representing a five percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) paid to retailers since then.

OLG is a little different – authorized lottery retailers are paid a commission for every lottery ticket sold and for every ticket redeemed in the store. They receive up to eight percent commission on ticket sales and up to three percent on ticket redemptions. Not all lottery jurisdictions offer commissions on sales and redemptions, Bitonti said.

In addition to that, bonus commissions are earned when retailers sell a top prize-winning ticket at their store in addition to commissions on winning redemptions at the store. Bonus commissions vary from $100 to over $1500 per top prize-winning ticket.

“That’s why we are proud to say our blended retailer commission rate is the highest in Canada,” Bitonti said.

In a Canadian lottery first, OLG launched the “Support Local” initiative in January 2021 that returned all profits to retailers for three months’ worth of sales on the new Instant Plinko game. Based on the success of the Instant Plinko initiative, other programs quickly followed for such games as Lighting Lotto and Instant Top Up. The commission increase on these products ranged from 10 percent to 30 percent. OLG continues to offer similar initiatives for time to time that will continue to drive sales and generate higher retail commissions.

So next time you’re waiting in line at the corner store as the person in front of you redeems their lottery tickets, know they are not the only person benefitting.