The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has announced that it has closed its lotto prize centre in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The centre in downtown Toronto closed its doors to the public on the evening of March 17 until further notice. It is not yet known when it will re-open.
“The health and safety of customers and employees is a priority for OLG,” OLG said in a statement.
“In the meantime, we can assure our valued customers that all lottery prizes will be redeemed per their terms and conditions on OLG.ca.”
Only Prizes Up To $10K May Be Redeemed
With the OLG lotto prize centre closed, it’s an unlucky time to be a lottery winner. Customers who have prizes up to $990.90 can continue to redeem their rewards at one of the approximately 10,000 lottery outlets across Ontario.
Those who have prizes up to $9,990.90 can call 1-800-387-0098 or visit olg.ca.
What happens if you need to claim a prize of $10,000 or higher? Well, you will just have to be patient, and wait for the re-opening of the OLG prize centre, whenever that may be.
But don’t worry about losing your bounty, as OLG is committed to honouring its T&Cs.
“We are looking at extending the 12-month time period for the redemption of lottery products sold through lottery terminals and PlayOLG.ca,” OLG said in the statement.
Casinos closing across Canada
OLG’s decision to close the lotto prize center comes two days after the organization temporarily closed all casinos in Ontario in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus, which originated in the Hubei city of Wuhan in China, has had devastating effects in countries in Asia and Europe.
The number of patients is now also growing across North America.
Many other provincial and gambling authorities across Canada have taken similar decisions in the interest of public health and safety.
Loto-Quebec announced that all four of its casinos – the Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, the Casino de Montréal in Montreal, the Casino de Charlevoix in Pointe-au-Pic, and the Casino de Mont-Tremblant in Mont-Tremblant – would be temporarily closed down.
The BC Lottery Corporation ordered a shutdown of all casinos, community gaming centres and bingo halls in British Columbia, after a directive was issued to limit social gatherings to 50 people.
Casinos in Alberta have also been ordered to close immediately after a state of public emergency was declared across the province.
All six of the casinos in Manitoba have been closed down until further notice, as have the casinos in Nova Scotia.
Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan have been closed down until further notice, while the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority has announced a two-week temporary closure of the Bear Claw, Dakota Dunes, Gold Eagle, Gold Horse, Living Sky, Northern Lights and Painted Hand casinos.
Casino New Brunswick has also closed its doors temporarily.