WINDSOR, ON, April 30 /CNW/ - The Canadian gaming industry will recognize
the achievements of several of its leaders tonight during the third annual
Canadian Gaming Awards Gala Benefit, part of the 2009 Canadian Gaming Summit.
Proceeds from the event, held at Caesar's Windsor, will be donated to United
Way / Centraide Windsor-Essex County.
"The Canadian gaming industry is made up of innovative organizations and
hard-working, creative individuals," said Bill Rutsey, president of the
Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), and host of the Summit and awards gala.
"They are making their companies great places to work, their communities
better places to live, and the industry stronger, more responsible and more
"The industry is also pleased to contribute to United Way / Centraide
Windsor-Essex County, an organization that is making a significant difference
in people's lives," notes Mr. Rutsey.
Locally driven and governed, United Way / Centraide Windsor-Essex County
works with agencies, government, business and labour to find lasting solutions
to health and human service issues. They support a range of programs and
services for children and youth, individuals and families, people with
disabilities, seniors and community support agencies.
"This donation from the Canadian Gaming Association will have a positive
impact on the overall health and well-being of the citizens and communities in
Windsor Essex," said Sheila Wisdom, Executive Director of United Way /
Centraide Windsor-Essex County.
The Canadian Gaming Awards recognize excellence and achievement in two
distinct areas: Exemplary Volunteerism & Community Support and Industry
Leadership & Outstanding Contribution.
In the Exemplary Volunteerism & Community Support category, the winners
are Manitoba Lotteries Corporation (MLC) and Woodbine Entertainment Group
Manitoba Lotteries Corporation has a strong spirit of community
involvement with unique programs such as ECHO (Employees Care by Helping
Others) and a $5 million Legacy Fund which helps Habitat for Humanity
build homes for families. ECHO was created in 2006 by a group of MLC
employees who decided to reach out into the community and give employees
the platform to fundraise for a charity of their collective choosing. To
date, over $200,000 has been raised for two charities - the Children's
Hospital Foundation of Manitoba and the Children's Hospital Asthma,
Allergy and Clinical Immunology Renovation Project. A spin-off program,
REAP (Rewards for Employee Action and Participation), acknowledges
employees who volunteer in the community through MLC's corporate donation
of $125 for each employee who has completed over 50 hours of volunteer
service or canvassed $500 or more.
Woodbine Entertainment Group, a not-for-profit corporation, continues to
be the largest horse racing operation in Canada and is one of the largest
live-racing programs in the world. It operates two racetracks in
Ontario - Woodbine Racetrack, located in the northwest corner of Toronto,
and Mohawk Racetrack, in Campbellville. These two racetracks also offer
slot machine gaming under agreements with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming
Corporation. WEG supports and lends its leadership to numerous community
organizations and causes like Toronto Children's Breakfast Clubs,
scholarship funds and other initiatives. As the sole sponsor of the
Woodbine Children's Breakfast Club, WEG partners with the charity for the
annual holiday toy drive. Through their community support programs, WEG
also sponsors the Youth Gang Exit and Ambassador Leadership Program,
which helps young people develop the skills to help reduce crime and
gives them hope for a meaningful future after gang life. WEG is also the
largest single corporate sponsor of The Gatehouse, a program that
provides community response to child abuse victims. WEG is a member of
Imagine Canada, is a national charitable organization that supports
Canada's charities and non-profit organizations. In total WEG donates
three per cent of its net revenues to the charity, exceeding Imagine
Canada's suggest target of one per cent.
Award winners for Industry Leadership & Outstanding Contribution are: Art
Frank, President of Niagara Casinos; Dave Gadhia, CEO of Gateway Casinos &
Entertainment; and Paul Newton, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business
Development with the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA).
Art Frank began his gaming career in 1978 and has held a variety of
positions in facilities throughout the Bahamas, the United States and
Canada. He was the first General Manager of the Par-A-Dice Riverboat
Casino in Peoria, Illinois, and was responsible for the opening of
Carnival's Casino Rouge property in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When he
arrived at Niagara Casinos in 2006, market conditions were less than
favourable, including rising gasoline prices, increased border
restrictions and a weaker US dollar. Sensing an opportunity to expand, he
added a deli and two restaurants, doubled the size of the spa, started
hotel renovations and built a luxurious martini lounge overlooking the
Falls. He also overhauled the company's marketing, entertainment and
motor coach programs. Revenues at Niagara Casinos have since stabilized
and profitability is on the upswing.
Dave Gadhia, CEO, oversees Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Inc., one of
the largest casino and entertainment companies in Western Canada,
headquartered in Burnaby, BC. Gateway is celebrating 16 years in business
with a portfolio of casino properties that include the Grand Villa,
Starlight, Cascades, Lake City Casinos (located in Vernon, Kamloops,
Kelowna & Penticton) and Baccarat and Palace Casinos in Edmonton, AB.
Gateway employs over 3,100 people whose dedication to customer service is
viewed as the foundation for the company's growth and success. Gadhia has
recently led the development of two new facilities - Grand Villa Casino
in Burnaby and Starlight Casino in New Westminster, as well as the
expansion of the Cascades Casino in Langley. Gadhia has been with the
company since its inception in 1992 and also serves on the Board of
Burnaby Hospital Foundation, as well as a director for a number of other
private and public companies. He has been awarded the Canadian Gaming
News' Outstanding Achievement Award and the Business in Vancouver's Top
40 Under 40 Award.
Paul Newton has worked extensively in the gaming industry over the past
two decades including posts with Mikohn Gaming Corporation, Rideau
Carleton Racetrack, Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, Western Canada
Lottery Corporation and his current employer, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming
Authority (SIGA), for the past five years. Newton lends a unique
combination of public and private sector experience encompassing all
aspects of gaming. He has exhibited remarkable versatility, managing
three expansion projects simultaneously, bringing all of them in under
budget. Due to his efforts, SIGA's expansion program created 750 new
positions for the company, and far exceeded targets for First Nations
labour hours during the construction phase.
The Canadian Gaming Summit is a three-day gathering of more than 1,200
industry representatives hosted by the CGA. Attendees represent all aspects of
Canada's gaming industry, including casinos, horseracing, bingo, lottery,
charitable, gaming equipment suppliers, legal and financial professionals,
First Nations representatives, security experts, and many others. Complete
information on the 2009 Canadian Gaming Summit can be found at
The Canadian Gaming Association represents the gaming industry's leading
operators, manufacturers, suppliers and other stakeholders nation-wide.
For further information:
For further information: Media contact: Paul Burns, Vice-President,
Public Affairs, Canadian Gaming Association, Direct: (416) 304-6870, Cell:
(416) 579-3922, firstname.lastname@example.org