Of course, the most visible accomplishment with the most impact has been the establishment of a unique model to introduce electronic games into traditional charitable bingo while maintaining active participation from charities and assuring their revenues. This model was developed over seven years ago with the establishment of four pilot sites to introduce electronic bingo. As a result of focused determination, collaboration with our industry partners, and lobby efforts, this pilot has grown into the exciting Revitalization of Charitable Gaming initiative with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). The charitable bingo industry has been in decline 8% to 10% every year, which has resulted in less funding for charities to provide services in local communities. This initiative is an opportunity to stabilize and grow the industry in order to support the good works these local organizations deliver.
As of this month, we have nineteen C Gaming sites in operation with new technology that offers customers new ways to play traditional paper games. Two thirds of the industry (charities and commercial operators) has indicated a desire to participate in the partnership with the OLG. New sites are scheduled for implementation throughout 2014.
OCGA has an important role preparing the charities for this significant transition and providing ongoing training and support for them in their new roles and responsibilities.
What are the major challenges affecting charitable gaming?
Our challenges ahead include assuring that charitable gaming will survive in the larger gaming matrix as internet gaming and the potential for casino expansion occurs. This area is our biggest priority as we work with OLG, Alcohol and Gaming of Ontario, our private sector partners, and various government ministries to ensure charities in Ontario and their contributions to local communities remain a priority.
What do you get out of your role with OCGA?
As the executive director of OCGA, it is truly my pleasure to work with so many dedicated people who sincerely care about the important services across Ontario provided by the thousands of charities and not-for profits and their thousands of volunteers.
For more information, please visit www.charitablegaming.com.