ALC defends secret GeoSweep sales
Lottery corporation says no violation of odds-of-winning policy
The Atlantic Lottery Corp. says its refusal to divulge sales figures for its new game GeoSweep does not violate a commitment the corporation made to inform players about the odds of winning games they play.
This, despite the fact that it’s impossible to know all of the odds without those numbers.
"Part of Atlantic Lottery's mandate for offering our products responsibly is to help players understand the odds of winning our games," the corporation’s website states.
ALC awards a $1,000-prize every day from among all the GeoSweep game squares it sells.
But the odds of winning that prize are unknown because ALC won't say how many squares it has sold and are in the draw, even after the fact.
Lindsay Shannon, an ALC spokesperson, says the odds of winning the daily draw change every time a player buys a GeoSweep square, making it impractical to provide that information.
"The odds of the daily GeoSweep draw constantly change each time a Geo is sold," said Shannon.
"We provide information to help players understand the odds of GeoSweep, consistent with our code of conduct."
Lotteries across Canada routinely give both odds and sales figures of various games they offer the public.
For example, 6/49 reports it sold 5.6 million tickets across Canada for Wednesday night's draw.
And ALC does advise players about changing odds on scratch tickets by issuing a weekly list of grand prizes that have already been won.
But GeoSweep players have no way of knowing what their chances of winning the game's daily $1,000 prize really are and whether it would be better to play something else, even though ALC suggests on its website that players make those kinds of comparisons.
"ALC encourages players to make informed choices about their play," the website states under the ‘play responsibly’ section.
ALC launched GeoSweep in Atlantic Canada last month and has been advertising it heavily in the region since.
The game allows players to buy squares on a map grid of Atlantic Canada for 25 cents a day each and hope a computer picks their location out of 2.3 million other squares in a daily draw.
The jackpot is worth $250,000 although unpurchased squares won each of the first 35 draws, as of Tuesday.
ALC says it expects the game to be a success, despite its lacklustre performance in the U.K. Earlier this year, the game was only generating revenue of about $200 a day.
Still, ALC convinced the Atlantic Canadian governments to let it invest several million dollars in GeoSweep's parent company Roboreus, in a bid to bring the game to Atlantic Canada.
The New Brunswick government approved a $2-million investment, a finance department spokesman has said.
Opposition leaders in New Brunswick plan to question the investment when ALC goes before the Crown corporations committee.
Atlantic Lottery Corp. is operated by the four provincial governments in the region, which receive 100 per cent of the profits.