December  24, 2018

KPMG will be the independent fairness monitor for Ontario’s cannabis retail store lottery

On December 13, the Government of Ontario announced changes to how cannabis retail stores will be allocated across the province. Given the shortage of legal cannabis supply from federally licensed producers, the government will now allow private cannabis retail stores to open in phases and has provided the AGCO the authority to authorize up to 25 stores in the initial phase.

A lottery, conducted by the AGCO, will be held to determine who will be able to apply for one of the 25 initial stores.   

The AGCO has retained the services of KPMG to act as fairness monitor to oversee this lottery. KPMG will not be selecting the lottery winners, but will monitor the lottery in order to assess whether it is conducted fairly and according to the established rules. The AGCO will publish the lottery rules once they have been reviewed by KPMG. We are aiming to publish the lottery rules on January 2, 2019.

The AGCO’s Gaming Laboratory has developed the software program that will be used for the selection of the Expressions of Interest that applicants will submit to enter this lottery. The Gaming Laboratory is the AGCO’s in-house laboratory that uses state-of-the-art equipment to test and analyze the integrity of all lottery, casino and internet gaming systems used in Ontario. The AGCO’s Gaming Laboratory is accredited to the international standard ISO 17025:2005, which is considered the international benchmark for excellence in testing laboratories.

To provide further assurances of the integrity of this software program, the AGCO has submitted it for independent testing and certification from Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®), an independent  testing laboratory which holds international accreditations for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, 17020, and 17065 standards for technical competence in the gaming, wagering and lottery industries. Stay tuned for more information.

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