A local business man in Athens is in the middle of a dispute with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
He wants to sell lottery tickets at his convenience store but so far the closest he’s come is being placed on a waiting list.
Darryn Davis has more….
You can get gas, return empties and even buy worms at Elgin Street Convenience and Gas in Athens, but you can’t purchase a lottery ticket.
James Desrosiers says they’ve been trying to get a lottery machine from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation since he opened his doors last October.
“They told us there was a shortage on lottery terminals and there wasn’t enough sales traffic through the area to have more than three machines. ”
When Swans, another local convenience store, closed it’s doors this spring Desrosiers thought he would get their machine but that didn’t turn out to be the case.
Desrosiers says the machine went to Toronto.
“There’s usually only one in each township we’re pretty lucky because of our population we can have more, so the three is a substantial number but now we only have two so we’d like that third one back. ”
“Desrosiers says having the lottery terminal won’t necessarily make or break his business but it a useful tool for drawing customers to his store. ”
“When customers ask for a product we need to get it for them and they’re asking for the lottery because they want to make this their one stop shop to get their gas and milk and bread and lottery, so that’s what we’re trying to do here. ”
M.P.P. Steve Clark has been trying to get answers for Desrosiers since March.
He’s contacted the Ministry of Finance and had been corresponding with OLG until recently.
“Over the last three weeks it’s been total radio silence. the government hasn’t responded to us, James has been left out on the lurch. I think this is postal code politics at it’s worst. ”
Desrosiers has now started a petition that has over 500 signatures on it.
“We lost one in town already.
We put about a hundred bucks a week in lottery tickets with my wife’s pool from work and we’d like to support him.”
Desrosiers is presenting the petition to Clark on Tuesday.
Clark says he will be passing the petition on to the Ministry of Finance and the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation while continuing to press Desrosiers case to sell lottery tickets.
Darryn Davis CKWS news Athens.