Atlantic Lottery: Ask Away

Atlantic Lottery / Maureen Wojick / Moncton, Canada


Established by the four Canadian Atlantic provincial governments in 1976, Atlantic Lottery is a crown corporation responsible for the operation of the lottery in Atlantic Canada. As a crown corporation, Atlantic Lottery is accountable to its provincial government owners and, therefore, the people of Atlantic Canada. The proceeds from lottery benefit the people of Atlantic Canada. Since 1976, Atlantic Lottery has returned over CDN$6 billion in profit to help fund roads, health care and education.

Despite being part of the fabric of Atlantic Canada for more than 35 years, few Atlantic Canadians understood Atlantic Lottery’s true purpose and the tremendous impact the organization has on building a better Atlantic Canada. This fundamental lack of understanding led to public mistrust and misconceptions about Atlantic Lottery with the very people the organization was created to benefit.

Public opinion research conducted by the Gandalf Group with involved Atlantic Canadians (IACs) in late 2009 and early 2010 revealed how serious the brand reputation problem had become. Involved Atlantic Canadians comprise 42 percent of the population and are an engaged, vocal group. They are Atlantic Canadian opinion leaders. The study revealed that 38 percent of IACs had a negative opinion of Atlantic Lottery. Anything above 30 percent is considered high risk, and 38 percent put Atlantic Lottery dangerously close to the 40 percent mark that could trigger policy/organizational changes from government owners. When Atlantic Lottery makes an “ask” of its government owners/policy makers, the yes or no decision is made based on public opinion. Since IACs clearly had an unfavorable view of Atlantic Lottery, getting decisions from policy makers in Lottery’s favor appeared to be a challenge. Managing the business effectively under these pressures was an additional challenge.