TORONTO, ON – Ontario’s Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization initiative is marking an important milestone in Newmarket. More than $3 million has been raised and has benefited local charities in the region as a result of the revitalization of charitable bingo and gaming.
This program, which began over a decade ago, is delivered through a partnership between Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association (OCGA), the Commercial Gaming Association of Ontario (CGAO), local charities and gaming and bingo centre operators.
Bingo World Newmarket hosted the official celebration for the $3 million milestone, as this location converted to a Charitable Gaming Centre in 2013. Today’s event was attended by Chris Ballard, MPP Newmarket-Aurora, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, John Taylor, Deputy Mayor of Newmarket and Regional Councillor, Diane Gartshore, Director of Charitable Gaming at OLG, and Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association.
“I am impressed with the work that has been done locally through the revitalization of Charitable Gaming,” said Chris Ballard, MPP Newmarket – Aurora. “It is quite an achievement to raise $3 million to benefit local charities and non-profit organizations within our community. I want to commend the staff at Bingo World Newmarket, OLG, and most importantly, the many charities and their volunteers who have helped reach this milestone and continue to make the Town of Newmarket a great community.”
“To date, Newmarket charities and not-for-profit organizations have received $3 million from the Charitable Gaming initiative with Ontario Lottery and Gaming, supporting mental health services, services to children and families, health research, and many more charitable and non-profit organizations,” said Tony Van Bynen, the Mayor of Newmarket. “Newmarket continues to look for ways to help the community and contribute to the social responsibility for the greater good. Without the funds raised and the Newmarket volunteers, the ongoing contribution to the community would not be possible. Thank you to the Province for recognizing our efforts as well as those that have contributed to the 35 charities and not-for-profit organizations in one way or another.”
“OLG is proud of the Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization initiative and the role we play in providing sustainable revenue sources to the charities that serve the City of Newmarket,” said Diane Gartshore, OLG’s Director of Charitable Gaming.
“Today is celebrating the wonderful success of Charitable Gaming in Newmarket.” said Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the OCGA. “This initiative is making a big difference to many local charities that provide important programs and services.”
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 complement 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 $140 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
OLG is the Ontario government agency that delivers gaming entertainment in a socially responsible manner. OLG conducts and manages gaming facilities, the sale of province-wide lottery games, PlayOLG Internet gaming, the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres and is leading the integration of horse racing into the provincial gaming strategy. Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $44 billion to the Province and the people of Ontario. These payments to the province support the operation of hospitals, amateur sport through the Quest for Gold program, local and provincial charities and problem gambling prevention, treatment and research.
All for Here – 100 per cent of OLG’s proceeds are invested in Ontario
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