Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 345–354 | Cite as

Lottery Promotions at the Point-of-Sale in Ontario, Canada

  • Lynn C. Planinac
  • Joanna E. Cohen
  • Jennifer Reynolds
  • Daniel J. Robinson
  • Anne Lavack
  • David Korn
Original Paper


We documented the extent of point-of-sale (POS) lottery promotions in Ontario, Canada and the relationship between lottery promotions and store and city characteristics. This is the first quantitative study of POS lottery promotions. A total of 366 stores—independent and chain convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores—were visited across 20 cities in Ontario. Data collectors unobtrusively observed the type of lottery promotions in each store and completed a data collection checklist. A lottery promotion index was created and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was conducted to examine the relationship between extent of lottery promotions and independent variables such as neighbourhood socioeconomic status and city prevalence of lottery ticket purchasing. POS lottery promotions were widespread across Ontario, with the highest level of promotion found in independent convenience stores. In the multivariable HLM model, none of the remaining independent variables remained statistically significant, except for store type. Lottery promotions are extensive at the POS in Ontario. These findings can help initiate discussions around the appropriateness and possible future regulation of this form of advertising.


Gambling Lottery Advertising Marketing Retail Point-of-sale Observations 



The study was funded through a grant from the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre (OPGRC). We would like to thank the data collectors (Kirsten Sears, Sasha Stark) and statistical analysts (Tamara Arenovich, Gautam Sajeev) who assisted with this study.


  1. Abdel-Ghany, M., & Sharpe, D. L. (2001). Lottery expenditures in Canada: Regional analysis of probability of purchase, amount of purchase, and incidence. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 30, 64–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Business Information (2005). The Canadian business directory. Omaha, NE: InfoUSA. Accessed December 2005.Google Scholar
  3. Azmier, J. (2000). Canadian gambling behaviour and attitudes: Summary report. Retrieved May 4, 2009, from
  4. Azmier, J. (2005). Gambling in Canada 2005. Context and statistics. Retrieved June 9, 2009, from
  5. Blattberg, R. C., Briesch, R., & Fox, E. J. (1995). How promotions work. Marketing Science, 14, G122–G132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borg, M. O., & Stranahan, H. A. (2005). Does lottery and advertising exploit disadvantaged and vulnerable markets? Business Ethics Quarterly, 15, 23–35.Google Scholar
  7. Cohen, J., Planinac, L., Robinson, D., et al. (2008). Tobacco promotions at point-of-sale: The last hurrah. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 99, 166–171.Google Scholar
  8. Cultural Partners Australia Consortium. (2000). The impact of gaming on specific cultural groups. Retrieved June 9, 2009, from$File/Project_2000TIGSCG.pdf.
  9. Felsher, R., Derevensky, J., & Gupta, R. (2004). Lottery play amongst youth: Implications for prevention and social policy. Journal of Gambling Studies, 20, 127–153.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gupta, R., & Derevensky, J. (2008). Gambling practices among youth: Etiology, prevention and treatment. In C. A. Essau (Ed.), Adolescent addiction: Epidemiology, assessment and treatment (pp. 207–230). London, U.K.: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  11. Jacobs, D. F. (2004). Youth gambling in North America: Long-term trends and future prospects. In J. Derevensky & R. Gupta (Eds.), Gambling problems in youth: Theoretical and applied perspectives (pp. 1–26). New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.Google Scholar
  12. Kearney, M. S. (2005). State lotteries and consumer behavior. Journal of Public Economics, 89, 2269–2299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Korn, D. (2000). Expansion of gambling in Canada: Implications for health and social policy. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 163, 61–64.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Korn, D., Reynolds, J., & Hurson, T. (2008). Commerical gambling advertising: Exploring the youth connection. Final report submitted to the Ontario problem gambling research centre. Retrieved June 8, 2009, from
  15. Marshall, K., & Wynne, H. (2003). Fighting the odds. Perspectives on labour and income: The online edition. Retrieved June 9, 2009, from
  16. McMullen, J. L., & Miller, D. (2009). Wins, winning and winners: The commercial advertising of lottery gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, Epub ahead of print.Google Scholar
  17. Monaghan, S., Derevensky, J., & Sklar, A. (2008). Impact of gambling advertisements and marketing on children and adolescents: Policy recommendations to minimize harm. Journal of Gambling Issues, 22, 252–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation. (2007). OLG annual report 2006–2007. Ontario lottery & gaming corporation website. Retrieved June 3, 2009, from
  19. Papoff, K. M., & Norris, J. E. (2009). Instant ticket purchasing by Ontario baby boomers: Increasing risk for problem gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, Epub ahead of print.Google Scholar
  20. Porter, M. (1996). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 74, 61–78.Google Scholar
  21. Shaffer, H. J., & Hall, M. N. (2001). Updating and refining prevalence estimates of disordered gambling behaviour in the United States and Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 92, 168–172.Google Scholar
  22. Shaffer, H. J., LaBrie, R. A., & LaPlante, D. (2004). Laying the foundation for quantifying regional exposure to social phenomena: Considering the case of legalized gambling as a public health toxin. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 18(1), 40–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Statistics Canada. (2008). Special tabulation, based on 2007 Canadian community health survey.Google Scholar
  24. Stearns, J. M., & Borna, S. (1995). The ethics of lottery advertising: Issues and evidence. Journal of Business Ethics, 14(1), 43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Stinchfield, R., & Winters, K. C. (1998). Gambling and problem gambling among youths. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 556, 172–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wardman, D. (2001). Problem and pathological gambling in North American Aboriginal populations: A review of the empirical literature. Journal of Gambling Studies, 17, 81–100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Woodside, A. G., & Waddle, G. L. (1975). Sales effects of in-store advertising. Journal of Advertising Research, 15, 29–33.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn C. Planinac
    • 1
  • Joanna E. Cohen
    • 1
  • Jennifer Reynolds
    • 2
  • Daniel J. Robinson
    • 3
  • Anne Lavack
    • 4
  • David Korn
    • 2
  1. 1.Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Public Health Gambling Project, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of Business Administration, University of ReginaReginaCanada

Personalised recommendations