Ontario Online Lottery Draws Fire for Frequent Drawings
Anti-gambling critics and addiction counselors are tearing out their hair over Hit or Miss, a new online lottery product that offers players in Ontario, Canada new drawings every five minutes. Critics of the new game say that its fast pace and continuous drawings are just asking for trouble from players who are unable to control the compulsion to gamble.
The Ontario and Gaming Commission introduced Hit or Miss at the beginning of the month and has been under fire for it ever since. Shontelle Prokipcak, a gambling addiction counselor, explained her beef with the game in an interview with CTV News in Ottawa saying:
A $2 ticket doesn’t seem that intimidating right? And the hope that’s attached to it creates a problem.
It’s cycling every five minutes and then there’s the disappointment unless you have a win so that’s going to be constant. It’s right there in their home or at work or wherever they are so that’s going to be probably a challenge for some people.
OLG spokesman Tony Bitonti defended the online lottery saying that standard protections to protect problem gamblers are built into the system:
Because you have to see the draws on mobile or on your laptop, they’re designed with built-in player protections and our responsible gambling information.
He also pointed out that players must buy their tickets from an actual, brick and mortar, retailer and that they’re limited to buying 30, $2 tickets at a time. What would stop a retailer from selling the same player $30 worth of tickets over and over throughout the day was not explained by Bitonti or anyone else at the OLG.
Despite the criticism, there’s no organized effort to challenge the online lottery in court.