Canadian Gaming Industry Celebrates Outstanding Achievement Gala Benefit Raises Money for Variety - The Children's Charity

    TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - The Canadian gaming industry recognized the
achievements of several of its leading members during the first Canadian
Gaming Awards Gala Benefit held last night in Toronto, as part of the Canadian
Gaming Summit. Comedian Martin Short (SCTV, Saturday Night Live) headlined the
event, proceeds from which were donated to Variety - The Children's charity.
    "We believe in coming together to recognize the pioneers who have helped
build our industry and those who make their communities better places to
live," said Bill Rutsey, President of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA),
host of the awards gala and the Summit. "We are also pleased that this year
marks the start of a new trend for our awards, helping raise valuable funds
for a great cause."
    This year the proceeds from the awards gala will go to Variety - The
Children's Charity, recognized around the world as a leader in helping
children with disabilities and other barriers through integrated sports and
life skills programs. For more than 60 years, Variety has been dedicated to
the inclusion and participation of all young people, regardless of their
abilities, both at their flagship project Variety Village and out in the
    "We are so pleased to be the first charity to benefit from the Canadian
Gaming Awards Gala Benefit," said Lynne Wallace, President and CEO of Variety.
"This money will allow us to do great things for young people in our
communities. The funding will go towards programs that make sure all children
have a chance to be active and feel included."
    The awards recognize excellence and achievement in two distinct areas:
one annual award for Exemplary Volunteerism & Community Support and two awards
for long-term leadership and outstanding contribution.
    The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) was the recipient of the
award for Exemplary Volunteerism and Community Support.
    "Our vision is one of shared success," said SIGA CEO Zane Hansen. "We are
committed to strengthening the lives of Saskatchewan and First Nations people
through employment, economic growth and community relations. And one of our
primary industries for doing that is gaming."
    Award winners for Industry Leadership and Outstanding Contribution were
Muriel Grimble, Executive Director, Gaming Products and Services for the
Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission (ALGC) and Kevin Laforet, CEO of Casino
    "Kevin was one of the very first hires at Casino Windsor in 1993, and has
risen through the ranks to become the CEO, demonstrating that a Canadian could
indeed aspire to operate a major facility in competition with established
American operators," said Mr. Rutsey in presenting the award. Laforet is
currently leading Casino Windsor through a $400 million expansion and the
upcoming re-branding as Caesars Windsor.
    "Muriel Grimble's influence in developing a thriving gaming industry in
Alberta has been profound," said Mr. Rutsey. "She is recognized across North
America as a tireless leader in the development of our industry." A small
sample of her career highlights include: launching 6/49 in Alberta; early
sponsorship of AGLC's commitment to responsible gaming initiatives; and
playing a principle role in growing Alberta's gaming business to a thriving $2
billion dollar(profit) industry.
    In addition to the awards presented annually at the gala benefit, the CGA
and the Canadian Gaming Business magazine will recognize significant
achievement across all industry sectors.

    The Canadian Gaming Summit is a three-day gathering of more than 1,200
industry representatives hosted by the Canadian Gaming Association (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 2007 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, 44 Victoria Street, Suite 300,
Toronto, ON, M5C 1Y2, Direct: (416) 304-6870, Cell: (416) 579-3922,; Cathy Kurzbock, Hill & Knowlton, Direct: (416)
413-1218, Ext. 4550,

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