1351 – Message from the Chair - Mr. Tony Rosa
This is the first opportunity I have taken to address the membership at large since taking over the Chairmanship of the Board and Association in May of this year. As 2016 draws to a close, I thought it was a great opportunity to share the highs and lows of our year.
What is clear is, as we end 2016, the Association is stronger than when we began it. The foundation pieces of the sector are in transition and this offers an opportunity for all our members. With transition comes change that is not always easy and sometimes can be difficult but with collective support among our members, we will be stronger and in a better position to embrace the future.
The bulk of the year has been taken up with the proposed contractual amendments to the Commercial Operators Contractual Framework. These have been long and detailed, as they should be, but progress is slowly being achieved. However, even with these contractual discussions in play, we did see some minor movement in product deployment both in terms of Tap Tix Units and POD games even though there have been some minor technical issues. On top of this, the recent marketing campaign finished off the year generating awareness beyond our Centres for the first time, which is a rather positive step for us all.
We have also seen the emergence of our fellow operators taking the first steps in developing real retail/leisure brands in the Charitable Gaming space. Two that immediately spring to mind are Delta Gaming Group and Dolphin Gaming Centre (Toronto). Branding requires a huge investment and it signals the change in approach that we are all undertaking.
As we turn to 2017, this will be a year of change. We look to secure greater numbers of product where the marketplace warrants them, further develop the customer experience and keep building the Charity Revenue/Contribution in order to maintain and enhance value in the local communities. During the course of the New Year, it is projected that total charitable dollars raised will reach over $C150m, which will dovetail nicely with the 150th celebration of Canada’s founding and I am sure we will be jointly celebrating that with our partners.
2017 will see the Board and staff look closely at the resources of the Association and begin to gear up for the future. We certainly do need to supply additional resources for the CEO in order that CGAO can continue the progress it has made over the year(s) and meet the demands of the membership.
In closing, I want to thank my fellow Board members, especially my Vice Chair, Mr. Cam Johnstone, for all the additional resources and time he has allowed us leverage (The Delta Team), for all their valuable work and time in supporting the various initiatives we have going on.
I would also like to thank our Administrator, Ms. Sandi Nesbitt, for her contribution to the CGAO, Peter our CEO and our partners the AGCO, OLG, OCGA and Municipal Staff. Without all their support and hard work we would not have completed the progress we have collectively made.
Finally, from my family to yours, I want to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas and a very successful New Year.
Mr. Tony Rosa - Chair of the Board