TORONTO, ON – Ontario’s Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization initiative is marking an important milestone in Toronto. More than $4 million has been raised and has benefited the 65 charities which are part of the Delta St. Clair Bingo Sponsors’ Association 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.
Delta Bingo and Gaming hosted the official celebration for the $4 million milestone, as this location converted to a Charitable Gaming Centre in 2014. Today’s event was attended by Cristina Martins, MPP Davenport, Cesar Palacio, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 17, Frances Nunziata, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 11, Cam Johnstone, CEO, Delta Bingo and Gaming, Rick Gray, Vice President, Charitable Gaming at OLG, and Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association.
“I am proud to take part in today’s celebration to acknowledge the tremendous support that has been provided to our community for more than two years,” said Cristina Martins, MPP Davenport. “It is quite an achievement to raise $4 million to benefit local charities and non-profit organizations within our community. I want to commend the staff at Delta Bingo and Gaming, OLG, and most importantly, the many charities and their volunteers who have helped reach this milestone and continue to make Toronto a great community.”
“Cultural organizations, service clubs, support services and sports associations in the community receive important financial support thanks to the Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization program,” said Cesar Palacio, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 17. “These groups are essential to the quality of life that our residents enjoy.”
“Our community always looks for ways to contribute to the greater good,” said Frances Nunziata, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 11. “Without the funds raised and the volunteers at Delta Bingo and Gaming, the ongoing contribution to the community would not be possible.”
“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 Toronto,” said Rick Gray, Vice President, Charitable Gaming at OLG.
“Today is celebrating the wonderful success of Charitable Gaming in Toronto,” 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.
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