The province's financial watchdog says a plan to modernize the province's lottery agency was "overly ambitious" and virtually ignored the predictable impact on the horse racing sector.
Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk says the "abrupt cancellation" of the program that gave $347 million a year from slot machine revenues to racetracks had a significant impact on the industry that could have been mitigated.
Lysyk also says Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. didn't sufficiently consult municipalities about its modernization plan, which counted on building new casinos that were soon rejected by the cities of Toronto and Ottawa.
The auditor says OLG had to cut its projection of an additional $4.6 billion in profits over five years by nearly half, and she thinks even that is too optimistic and predicts the figure will end up being less than $2 billion.
She says OLG also overstated the number of jobs that would be created with its modernization plan, and notes there will likely be a net loss of gaming jobs in Ontario instead of the gains that were promised.
In addition, OLG's hopes of attracting $3.2 billion in private sector capital investment has been reduced to only $940 million, most of which Lysyk says would be realized from the sale of OLG's existing gaming assets.