TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario's Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization initiative is marking an incredible milestone. More than $100 million has been raised and has benefited local charities in communities across the province as a result of the revitalization of charitable bingo and gaming.
This program, which began a decade ago, is delivered through a partnership between Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association (OCGA) and the Commercial Gaming Association of Ontario (CGAO).
Boardwalk Gaming Centre in Barrie hosted the official celebration for the $100 million milestone, as this location served as part of a pilot project for the province-wide revitalization initiative.
Helping to commemorate this milestone was Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie, who was representing the province of Ontario, Jeff Lehman, the Mayor of the City of Barrie, Greg McKenzie, OLG's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the OCGA and Peter McMahon, the CEO of the CGAO.
"OLG is proud to have raised more than $100 million with Ontario charities through the Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization initiative," said Greg McKenzie, OLG's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, "OLG's contributions help create stronger communities by supporting charities like local children's groups, food banks and the arts in addition to support for healthcare and community services across the province."
"I am proud to be part of the celebration honouring the great work charities are doing across the province," said Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie. "Improving the way local charities raise the funds required to deliver essential programs is a priority."
"We've been focused on modernizing Ontario's Charitable Bingo and Gaming industry for more than a decade now and we're excited to achieve this important milestone," said Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the OCGA. "By introducing new and innovative games and improving the overall player experience, we are strengthening Charitable Gaming and helping raise more money for local charities."
Background on Charitable Gaming in Ontario
In the past 10 years, OLG has been working with the CGAO and the OCGA to revitalize the province's Charitable Bingo and Gaming industry. By developing and introducing new products and technologies that have invigorated the traditional charitable gaming experience, more money has been generated for thousands of local charities across the province. The revitalization initiative is preserving and enhancing funding for charities across Ontario while creating economic benefits, including employment opportunities at local charitable gaming centres.
A pilot program was started in 2005 to test electronic versions of existing paper-based bingo games with six charity bingo centres in five communities in Ontario
Following the success of this pilot project, a phased rollout of a new suite of electronic games was introduced to other charitable gaming sites in the province. This started in 2012. The new charitable games offer customers more choice and complements existing paper bingo games:
- Electronic Bingo: Charitable Gaming Centres offer terminals with touch screens that allow players to touch the screen to dab the numbers and play along.
- Play On Demand (POD): A collection of electronic games that can be played anytime, with great prizes to be won.
- Tap Tix: The evolution of the classic Break Open Ticket features an interactive display screen on a ticket dispenser.
The new games allow Charitable Gaming Centres to offer more customer choice and appeal to a broader demographic, while providing a different gaming entertainment experience from traditional bingo.
In total, 31 Charitable Gaming Centres have raised more than $100 million in additional money for local charities and their communities.
As part of the revitalization, OLG assisted in introducing Responsible Gambling Resource Centres (RGRC's) at all of the 31 Charitable Gaming Centres. The RGRC's, managed by the Responsible Gambling Council of Ontario, offer effective educational tools and resources to build awareness and understanding of the risks associated with, and strategies to prevent, problem gambling.
Each RGRC has information available on the following topics:
- Safer play strategies
- Gambling myths and facts
- Community agencies that support people with gambling concerns
For further information: OLG Media Relations, 1-888-946-6716, Ontario Charitable Gaming Association (OCGA), 905-824-5478