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Sault casino to be privatized: OLG top dog

Tuesday, March 20, 2012   by: Carol Martin

The casino in Sault Ste. Marie will be moving to private-sector management, says Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) President and Chief Executive Officer Rod Phillips.

OLG is moving all of its gaming facilities to the private sector, he said yesterday.

Sault Ste. Marie was Phillips' (shown) first stop in a province-wide series of visits to all OLG sites.

During a media scrum outside the Roberta Bondar building Monday, Phillips said that while OLG doesn't plan to close any more of its gaming facilities, they don't have to be staffed by government employees.

"Currently, about 60 percent of the people who work in gaming in Ontario work for provincially regulated private operators," said Phillips. "The announcement last week said that the rest of our gaming sites will move to private-sector operators that are regulated and overseen by OLG."

Phillips said the employees at the gaming sites are among the most highly trained, skilled and experienced in their field so it is very likely they would be working for private operators assuming the management of the gaming sites.

“This is still going to be a government organization, owned by the government, owned by the taxpayers," he said. "In the case of the gaming sites, as it is for the majority of employees around Ontario, they’ll be working for regulated private-sector operators under us.”

Phillips was in town Monday to meet with OLG employees, the city Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer and with members of the media.

He said he was here to answer questions about OLG's comprehensive five-year plan to modernize and revitalize gaming in Ontario.

"It's a comprehensive plan," he said. "It has $1.3 billion for health care and education at the end of five years."

Phillips declined to share any details of exactly what that plan to privatize the Sault Ste. Marie casino would mean to Saultites - or when it might happen - until he's had a chance to share that information with staff.

Sault MPP David Orazietti will be joining Phillips at the Sault Ste. Marie OLG headquarters in the Roberta Bondar building later this morning for another media conference.

Earlier coverage of this story

Close one OLG head office - recommendation to government
Loss of OLGC would be devastating to the Sault: Amaroso to McGuinty
EDC writes to McGuinty. Says Sault is the only OLG headquarters location
Time to rally around local OLG employees, says Sheehan
'All told, OLG would be a much smaller organization' - report
Orazietti writes to McGuinty again about OLG's future here
Hundreds lose jobs because of McGuinty's OLG moves: OPSEU
Straight from the OLG's mouth
McGuinty government will decide Lottery Corp's future: OLG president
Sault casino to be privatized: OLG top dog

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
RLE 3/20/2012 10:09:03 AM Report

When will Dalton and Dave change our city slogan from "Naturally Gifted" to "What happens in the Sault --stays in the Sault?"

Will we celebrate Bugsy Siegel's birthday?

The benefits of private ownership are endless
geterdun 3/20/2012 10:44:28 AM Report

Yea privitize everything....The liberal way........The only thing that should be privitized is goverments...Liberals........ Get ready for less money and worse working conditions if you work at the casino..... may as well have gangsters from the states running it like the casinos in windsor...........?????
Mr E 3/20/2012 10:59:21 AM Report

Actually Casino employees will be better off private.
Brianne 3/20/2012 11:14:53 AM Report

"IF" they keep the employees that are there ! This could mean a big wage drop as they are not working for the "province" anymore.
debbiedoo 3/20/2012 12:44:37 PM Report

This is good news for SSM. What the employees should perhaps be looking towards now is finding out "who" will be their "private sector boss" and get to know them in order to make sure their job stays secure. It's all about "who you know". Just a thought.
speed7 3/21/2012 8:16:59 PM Report

What big wage drop??... have you heard the news that all public service including the casino has been on a wage freeze for almost a few years now? I dont see employees there making big bucks anyhow? Only the top dogs are making the big money.
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