OCGA, Private Sector and Government Work Together to Deliver Technology Opportunities for Charitable Bingo

This is the most exciting news that the charitable bingo industry has had in years!

I am very pleased to report that the efforts of OCGA, along with our private sector partners (Commercial Gaming Association Ontario), have been very instrumental in having the government provide new direction to Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG). Click here to see a letter to Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director, OCGA, from Mr. Paul Godfrey, Chair of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming, that there is a very high commitment to help charities and to assist the charitable bingo sector. Because of our efforts, there is now a real understanding of the needs of the charitable bingo industry and the challenges we face. The government has directed that OLG engage in this new partnership with the industry on a cost recovery basis with a focus on products and technology that fit within the charitable gaming experience.

I would to thank the Premier’s Office, Minister Dwight Duncan and his staff and, of course, Mr. Paul Godfrey for hearing the concerns of our members and for their sincere interest in supporting charities and non-profits in Ontario in their fund-raising efforts.

A major difference in the current approach from the previous E-bingo initiative is that there will be a range of options that will potentially offer benefits to all areas of the bingo industry. The approach will continue to be one of choice by charities and by operators and expansion of E-gaming sites, with electronic bingo enhanced with new products and technology, will be a substantial part of the initiative. In addition, there will be standalone products offered to appeal to smaller paper halls.
OCGA has been actively participating in comprehensive discussions with OLG and our private sector partners regarding the opportunities for expansion of E-gaming and the introduction of options for further technology and new products to support the industry. OCGA brings many years of experience to the table given our long history of involvement providing training and support to E-gaming sites. We are dedicated to continue to represent the interests of charities in this exciting process.

OCGA is committed to its continuing work with charities - helping them consider the options available and assisting and supporting them with the transition to a new technology model (where they desire) as we have done for the past five years in the E-gaming initiative with OLG. There are many details to work through – the financial model, the product list, new technologies, product and technology priorities, resources to be acquired and assigned, potential sites determined, timeframes developed, etc. In order for this new direction to be successful for all stakeholders, there will need to be a critical mass of interest to move forward. You will see in the attached letter from Mr. Godfrey, Chair of OLG that he is first asking for commitment from Hall Operators. This is because the initiative will require a certain level of financial investment from the private sector to support the implementation of technology. Charities will also have an important say in determining participation but without private sector commitment and investment, it will be difficult to move forward. In the very near future, when more details have been worked through, we will be reaching out to both members and lapsed members with the information and helping to determine interest from the charity sector.

This very exciting direction comes after many years of hard work by the OCGA and our private sector partners, through the CGAO, supporting and playing a key role in the E-gaming initiative and advocating for expansion with options for more product and technology. Once again, OCGA delivers for charities in Ontario.

Your continued support and participation is critical to our success. Thank you so much for your patience, your encouragement and support. If you are not currently engaged with OCGA, we would urge that you do so in order to ensure that your interests are well represented. We would be happy to come and meet with your charities.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a meeting, please call me at 416-633-9635 / 1-877-716-7222 or send me an email at lcassidy@sympatico.ca.

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