To thank its retail partners, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is extending its current “Support Local” initiative of returning all profits from the activation and sale of $3 Instant Crossword and $3 Instant Bingo to retailers, including convenience operators.
The promotion kicked off March 1 and was to run until March 31, however it will now run until April 30, 2022.
“We want to thank Ontario’s lottery retailers, many of whom are hard-working small business owners, for their exceptional service to Ontarians across the Province,” Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy said in a release. “The vibrant network of lottery retailers we have here in Ontario is a significant contributor to our economy, drives growth and supports local jobs that are needed now more than ever.”
Approximately $6.6 million in additional commissions is expected to be paid to retailers throughout the duration of this incentive program, according to OLG, adding that should sales exceed projections, retailer commissions will further increase.
“In the last 12 months, we’ve been proud to run several unique Lottery Retailer Initiatives that have returned profits to our valued lottery retailers on the activation and sale of a variety of lottery products,” said Duncan Hannay, president and CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. “Our lottery retail partners play a major role in helping us raise awareness and drive sales of lottery games, which in turn helps us generate revenue that benefits Ontarians and communities across Ontario.”
OLG launched the “Support Local” initiative in January 2021 with a promotion that returned all profits to retailers on the sale of the Instant Plinko game for a limited time period. During the three-month promotion, c-stores earned a 30% commission (compared to the standard 8%). C-stores generated 84% of all Plinko sales for a total of $58 million in sales, with c-store commissions coming in a $17 million. Based on the popularity of Plinko, other similar commission incentive programs followed.
It's a win-win for everyone, according to Dave Bryans, CEO of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, which has advocated in the past for higher commissions. “Lottery retailers play a key role in serving and attracting more lottery customers at thousands of points of sale throughout Ontario. The small businesses I represent welcome this incentive which will, in turn, help drive economic recovery and growth in communities province-wide.”
OLG reports it standard blended retailer commission rate is the highest in Canada, providing record retailer commissions of more than $330 million last fiscal year, representing a 10% increase since 2020. OLG’s retailer commissions are paid to more than 5,300 retail owners, big and small.