The View Issue 163

Charitable Gaming - THE VIEW

1198 – Mr. Tom Thompson

1199 – Revitalization of Charitable (Bingo) Gaming

1200 – Anti Spam Legislation

1201 – People on the Move

1202 – Canadian Gaming Conference - Vancouver 2014

1203 – General Members Meeting - 15th July 2014

1198 – Mr. Tom Thompson

It was with deep regret to be informed that our former colleague, Mr. Tom Thompson, passed away suddenly on the 3rd June 2014 as a result of a brain aneurysm at the age of 59yrs. You can imagine the shock this created for his family and friends. Senior members of the Board (CGAO) represented and attended the visitation, on behalf of the CGAO, which was held on the 10th June in Penetanguishene.

Tom was an original Director of the PH-Bingo Limited, which was sold to Boardwalk Gaming & Entertainment a few years ago. Tom remained with the company as a Regional Manager for the north & east, leading those businesses under the direction of Senior Vice President-Operations, Mr. Michael Orser. Tom had decided numerous years ago that he would retire from the industry at 55yrs and he did, at a time of his own choosing and with the support of his family.

Everybody who had the opportunity to meet Tom would know that he was a true gentleman. I never saw him once lose his cool at work and he always had a positive word to say rather than a negative one. He was, quite simply, his happiest as a family man with his wife (Janice), his children and more recently his grandchildren. This is what mattered to him and what he really cared about.

One final act of kindness, which sums up the man, through the organ donation program Tom managed to assist five (5) others in need of that program. Our thoughts go to his wife Janice Thompson (Orser) as she begins the road to re-build her life going forward.

1199 – Revitalization of Charitable (Bingo) Gaming

The first half of 2014 has not seen this initiative slowing down. It is continuing at a tremendous pace with twenty three (23) c-Gaming Centres now converted into the program.

This speaks volumes for the partnership among all stakeholders in continuing to deliver this important government initiative for the numerous communities around the province who benefit from hosting a Charitable Gaming Centre in their municipality.

The Charitable Gaming Sector in Ontario has been long established for well over thirty (30) years and has had a lengthy history of making a considerable contribution to the life of the host communities. This is often overlooked or forgotten when looking at the changing landscape of the gaming sector in Ontario.

The Charitable Gaming Sector has time-honoured relationships with local Councillors, Licensing Departments, Provincial Members of Parliament and in some cases Federal Members of Parliament. This has been borne out through the success that the sector has achieved with no host municipality refusing an approval to convert over to the new model.

There have been various elements within c-Gaming that have been underway for some months, which I list below for your reference:

Conversions:

Welland                        – Launched in early spring 2014. This became the first ‘Small Centre’ to convert over to the new model. The Small Centre Strategy is a platform to engage smaller businesses into the initiative through an effective and efficient deployment of product, combined with measured investment from the Commercial Operator. This is the second Centre in the G&S (Mr. Jerry Root) Group to convert, with Golden Nugget (Fort Erie) converting late last year.

Leamington                   – Based in southern Ontario, this joins Welland as part of the Small Centre Strategy and we look forward to monitoring their progress in the coming months. The Taptix Units will be deployed shortly.

St. Clair (Toronto)          – The largest single conversion to date, this Centre (Delta Gaming) will have the largest number of bingo terminals on the system at any one time and will also undertake to trial a new product (Turbo Challenge) on the system. Delta Gaming continues to push forward with the c-Gaming initiative. Their commitment and investment remains high

Marketing:

Research                       – Under the guidance of Ms. Mary O’Neill (OLG) and industry representation from the CGAO, we have undertaken two pieces of critical research to guide the future direction of c-Gaming from a consumer point of view. Presentations have been made to the General Membership and those decks are available on our web site (www.cgao.ca) on the OLG page. This research is going to form the foundation of future development and I strongly recommend that everyone take a moment to read through it. If you have questions, speak to either Mr. Mary O’Neill or myself.

Products:

Turbo Challenge           – This had received formal approval from the AGCO and is now being launched at Delta Gaming Centre (Toronto) and shortly Rama Gaming (Mississauga) to ensure that it is received well from the consumers positioning.  There has been a Point of Sales Package put together to launch this product and it is available on the OLG’s – c-Gaming Toolbox.  I would greatly encourage all Commercial Operators to use these materials in their Centres as the creative pieces are both informative and appealing.

POD Progressive            – The system conversions are in progress or completed in the majority of Centres. This re-tuning of the progressive element of the Pod Product is targeted to be more appealing to our traditional bingo consumers.

Taptix Units                  – Various pieces of product enhancements ranging from Single Ply, Promotional Voucher, Progressive, and Multi Demo are all under consideration or going through the approval process. There has been engagement by the Vendor, CGAO and OLG Teams in forging a path through this in a measured and constructive fashion. It is our [CGAO] opinion that the upgrades can only add to consumer acceptance and begin the challenging process of engaging the first time or new consumer into a c-Gaming Centre.

Compliance:

 Policies                       – As we evolve so does the requirement of compliance within the new environment. It has been tremendous the level of co-operation and guidance we have been receiving from both c-Gaming Compliance (OLG) and the AGCO Field Teams. This is not to say that it is without its challenges but that is a natural process when you engage in this level of ‘Change Management’. However, we are seeing individuals embrace change constructively and adapting to the new operating environment.

 Prizeboard                 – As we see the conversion & development phases of the Centres pass, we are naturally looking at the business elements and managing the margins. Bingo still remains a core element of the business and Commercial Operators are beginning to turn their minds to maximizing this area of the business. We must bear in mind that prizeboard percentage is not a simple number to move. It is inter-linked to Admissions and Gross Revenue so a broader more careful approach is required.

Over the past few years the Charitable Gaming Sector has proven that partnership with government (both municipal & provincial), local non-profit, Charity Groups and Commercial Operators does work and achieves meaningful results for numerous communities in this province.

1200 – Anti Spam Legislation

On the 1st July 2014, the ‘Anti-Spam Legislation kicked-in. It is extremely important that you know and are aware of this law and the potential impact it could have on your company and the individuals representing your company. 

1201 – People on the Move

There have been a few people on the move since our last newsletter.

Mr. Leo Peri                – Appointed – Financial Controller of Delta Gaming in May 2014. He will report to the Delta Gaming Main Board and will lead the Financial & Central Services of the Group.

Ms. Carol Newman      – Appointed – Compliance Officer (c-Gaming) at the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation, working with Mr. Michael McLaughlin’s Team Compliance Team. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Newman worked with the Delta Gaming Group and brings tremendous experience to her new role.

Mr. Scott McNeill        – Appointed – Program Manager (c-Gaming) OLG and will be working closely on program implementation with the c-Gaming Team.

I am sure you will join me in congratulating all the above on their new appointments and we wish them every success in their new roles.  

1202 – Canadian Gaming Conference - Vancouver 2014

Last week saw the Canadian Gaming industry convene in downtown Vancouver (British Columbia) for the Gaming Conference. There was a range of topics discussed and debated by those present but regardless of which sector you are representing the interesting item remained the same, ‘the engagement or re-engagement’ of the customer experience and how to ignite ‘connectivity’ with them.

I fear the issue for the gaming sector is that it is ‘inward’ looking. We need to think broader and rather than a gaming experience, look at this from a Retail Leisure Experience position, focusing on the delivery methods and driving positive innovation. We need to embrace and become totally ‘Customer Centric’ to reach those new or potential customers for the future.

However, we need to acknowledge and thank the co-ordinators of the conference for another successful networking platform. Next year, in June 2015, we will re-convene in the City of Windsor (Ontario) and I hope we have a larger delegation from Ontario present.

1203 – General Members Meeting - 15th July 2014

Please be advised that CGAO will be hosting a General Members Meeting as indicated below. Could you please indicate your attendance to Ms. Sandi Nesbitt @ nesbitt.s@sympatico.ca.

Location: Holiday Inn (Airport East)
Date: Tuesday, 15th July 2014
Time: 11:00am to 1:00pm
Room: Centennial B    
Refreshments: Light snacks & coffee    

On-Line @ cgao.ca

Information: Resources: Reference

Contact Details

Office: 416-245-6365
Fax: 416-245-3449
Email: nesbitt.s@sympatico.ca
Wesbite: cgao.ca

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Commercial Gaming Association Ontario

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