PICKERING, ON – Ontario’s Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization initiative is celebrating an important milestone in Pickering. More than $13 million has been raised and benefited 62 local charities part of the Pickering Charitable Gaming Association as a result of the revitalization of charitable bingo and gaming.
This program, which began 15 years 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 Pickering hosted the official celebration for the $13.2 million milestone. This location converted to a Charitable Gaming Centre in 2012. Today’s event was attended by Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and MPP Pickering-Uxbridge, Maurice Brenner, City Councillor for the City of Pickering, David Fraser, Senior Director of Charitable Gaming at OLG, and Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association.
“Raising $13.2 million to benefit local charities and non-profit organizations in our community is a tremendous achievement,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy,MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “The revitalization of charitable gaming has resulted in sustaining essential programs in the Pickering community and enhancing the services across Durham Region. I would like to commend the charities involved in this initiative, their volunteers, and the gaming center staff for their efforts in reaching this milestone.”
“The City of Pickering is very proud of its community partnership with Delta Bingo and Gaming, Ontario Lottery and Gaming and the 62 charities and not-for-profits that have contributed $13.2 million for important programs and services in our city,” said Mayor Dave Ryan. “Due to the significant efforts of the many volunteers, all of these funds remain in our community and benefit the residents of Pickering and surrounding area.”
“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 Pickering,” said David Fraser, Senior Director, Charitable Gaming at OLG.
“Today is celebrating the wonderful success of Charitable Gaming in Pickering,” said Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the OCGA. “This initiative is making a big difference to many local charities and non-profits that provide important programs and services.”
Background on Charitable Gaming in Ontario
In the past 15 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. Includes new games such as Upik8 where the players can pick their own numbers to play.
- TAP ‘N PLAY games: A collection of electronic games played on terminals or cabinet style devices. The evolution of bingo and break open games featuring entertaining displays.
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, 32 Charitable Gaming Centres have raised more than $274 million in additional money for local charities and their communities.
As part of the revitalization OLG implemented its responsible gambling platform, PlaySmart, at all 32 Charitable Gaming Centres. The PlaySmart program and on-site PlaySmart Centres provide staff, volunteers, new and seasoned players with information on positive play and assistance to those who may express concerns about their gambling. PlaySmart is the go-to place for facts, tools and advice. Approximately every other month PlaySmart Centre staff visit the sites to answer questions, connect with players, and run interactive educational events. PlaySmart Centres are operated and managed by the Responsible Gambling Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of problem gambling.
OLG is a crown agency that develops world-class gaming entertainment for the Province of Ontario. Acting in a socially responsible way, OLG conducts and manages land-based gaming facilities; the sale of province-wide lottery games; PlayOLG Internet gaming; and the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres. OLG is also helping to build a more sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has provided more than $52 billion to the people and Province of Ontario to support key government priorities like health care; the treatment and prevention of problem gambling; and support for amateur athletes. Each year, proceeds from OLG’s operations also support host communities, Ontario First Nations, lottery retailers and local charities across the province.
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