1518 – Joint Charitable Gaming Conference (Ontario)
On the 18th & 19th November, in Mississauga, the CGAO & OCGA hosted their annual Charitable/Community Gaming Conference. Over the past few years this conference, with a clear focus on the sector, has got stronger and stronger with a record attendance this year.
It clearly shows the commitment and interest in Charitable Gaming and how, through our unique platform of collaboration, we continue with increased competitive forces to make the sector relevant and vibrant in this province. It is often forgotten that our platform was built through the sector and we sought government support to allow the introduction of technology into our Centres. It was based on and through ‘Public Policy’ and delivers real and immediate rewards to our 1.900 Charitable Groups and 28,000 direct volunteers. There is no other platform providing this model.
It was tremendous to have as our key-note speaker Mr. Jean Major, CEO of AGCO, one of the few individuals in the province who has a broad knowledge of how the gaming sector has evolved and has long advocated for an integrated Provincial Gaming Strategy. Never in my view has this been more needed. Addressing the conference for the first time, it was extremely encouraging to welcome Ms. Lori Sullivan, COO of OLG, as an important partner in the cGaming development. It was encouraging that she was able to join and be introduced to a broader selection of the Industry, both Commercial Operators, Vendors & Charitable Representatives. Even though she has been newly appointed to her new role as the Social/Responsible Gaming lead at the OLG, Ms. Liz Yeigh gave a broad overview on the Play-Smart program, its current status and identifying future opportunities to enhance the program going with the engagement of the sector, which was well received. The session on Customers Experience, undertaken by Mr. Peter Law, EY, was designed to stretch delegates thinking and engage them in thinking beyond where we are and focus where we need to get to in delivering a unique and rewarding customer experience for Charitable Gaming. We all collectively need to become much more customer centric in order to deliver the benefits to all the partners and I believe Peter achieved that objective in his session. One of the highlights that were extremely well received was hearing directly from our Charities and their experiences on what happens once the money is raised for the communities. Both Ms. Lynn Cassidy and Mr. Richard Schwar really achieved awareness, combined with real impact. We must not, as a collective, forget that our program (driven by the CGAO & OCGA) has now raised $C250m and is still growing. This is bringing and delivering real value to the communities and the province.
Finally, we, the CGAO, wanted to thank all the delegates who signed up for the conference. Without your support, this conference wouldn’t have achieved the success that it did. Combined with the tremendous work of our Conference Team, Mr. Richard Schwar and Ms. Pat Petrolo they both place a lot of hard work behind the scenes and wanted to publicly acknowledge that contribution.