Bingo Prizes may be Seized
In efforts to ensure enforcement of child support and spousal support awards, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has added Bingo winnings over $1,000 to its list of lottery or gaming wins that may be seized to satisfy outstanding support obligations. The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is responsible in Ontario for tabulating and enforcing child support and spousal support orders and support terms found in Separation Agreements if filed with the Court.
All winners of a prize in the amount of $1,000 or more will need to provide their contact information such as their name, address and social insurance number to the establishment running the Bingo. This information will be sent to the FRO so that it can check its records and ensure that there are no outstanding child support or spousal support arrears owing.
If it is found that the winner owes child support or spousal support arrears, the prize will not be paid to the winner. Instead, the prize money will be deposited with the OLG. The funds will be released to the winner only after he or she has satisfied the FRO requirements, which in most situations will mean paying the child support or spousal support arrears owing.
For winners who think that they can refuse to provide their information to the Bingo hall and so avoid this process, note that the Bingo hall has no flexibility in this area. All winners of $1,000 or more will have their winnings deposited into the OLG account until further information is received from FRO informing the OLG that it has been satisfied.
For more information on this issue, visit: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/familyResponsibility/Enforcement/lottery.aspx