1538 – Charitable Gaming Sector (Retail)
The unprecedented crisis that has gripped the world over the last twelve weeks, Covid-19, remains an evolving situation that we, at the CGAO, are monitoring closely. The Charitable Gaming Sector, under recommendation from the CGAO Board and in consultation with the OLG & AGCO, undertook and remains in a temporary closure of all Centres until further notice. We are not unique in this situation, recognizing that our colleagues [Land-Based Casinos] at Canadian Gaming Association have taken a similar course of action within the province.
This has been an important, and the right-step to undertake. However, it comes at the critical revenue generating period of the year and as such this will have long-term impacts that will remain with the sector once the initial crisis has passed. Our Chair and Vice Chair have indicated clearly that at this moment our focus is on, and remains with, the welfare and wellbeing of our Team Members, our Charity Colleagues and Key Stakeholders, Simply put it is People over Profit and every effort is being made in supporting, communicating and connecting with those groups to assist where we can and pass on any government information that may be applicable to them.
This current environment is all about connectivity. The Charitable Gaming Sector is a highly social channel and our customers yearn for that connection with their local Community Gaming Centre. Efforts at digital connections, even through chat, have a value at this moment in time. Some of our members are looking at how this could be facilitated.
The economic impacts have been great. There is no hiding that fact. However, we are equally aware that our main beneficiaries of net revenue (our 1,900 Charity Groups) have equally seen their revenue opportunities impacted. These are Community Based Groups that deliver real and meaningful service to and within the communities they are based. We are aware and work closely with the OCGA who are undertaking a leading role in reviewing potential options and seeking what could be available.
Within four weeks so much has changed. We don’t feel it will just return to how it was. We all need to work harder to win back the confidence of the customers and Team Members and showcase strongly the unique value we bring to our partners and communities. There is no doubt we will all come through this challenging period a little wiser, far more aware and stronger in our focus to build a compelling customer experience.