The View - 211

Charitable Gaming - THE VIEW

1543 – Charitable Gaming Sector (Retail)

1544 – AGCO – Standards

1545 – CGAO (AGM)

1546 – Health & Safety Standard – Plan

1547 – Consumer Behaviours

1543 – Charitable Gaming Sector (Retail)

As we enter our thirteenth (13) week on this Covid-19 shut-down, the pressure is mounting on our members, our charities and even our customers. No one could have projected this or made any provisions as it has caught everyone by surprise.

This unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic is now beginning to have a material impact on the sector. An estimated 89% of Team Members (employees) have been furloughed since this began and their understanding and co-operation has been remarkable throughout this period. Also, our 1,900 Charity Groups and not forgetting the 32 Charity Co-Ordinators who have in equal measure been both financially impacted and reduced the ability to act with their local communities with the programs they support or provide.

We continue to engage in discussions with both Crown Agencies (AGCO & OLG) as well as government bodies to see if there are any opportunities to engage and transact with our customers in a material fashion. The prime example of this would be a digital platform. However, due to the law and regulations this has been extremely difficult to bring around at this moment but we are positioned for the future to advocate for this to be available to the sector. Our alignment with the CGA on a unified Heath & Safety Standard Document was completed and has since been presented to the two Crown Agencies and Ministry of Finance. I must point out that through the development process we were supported by the AGCO & OLG and we acknowledge their contributions to that document.

I realize everyone is eager to hear when the Gaming Centres can open and welcome back their Team Members and customers. We, the CGAO, continue to lobby into government for that re-opening date.  

1544 – AGCO – Standards

On the 3rd June 2020 the AGCO issued a ‘Notice of Standards Changes’, which directly relates to two (2) items, a) Re-Opening Standard and b) Red Tape Reduction. I realize this has created a lot of constructive discussion among the membership, as indeed it should. However, as I stated on my numerous direct telephone conversations, this document must be read in tandem with the full Registrar Standard for Gaming document.  

This is a positive step in driving for an efficient and effective application of Gaming Standards and we trust we will see a reduced duplication of services in this area without affecting the balance between the Commercial and Regulatory factors.

1545 – CGAO (AGM)

We are still awaiting an opportunity to re-schedule our Annual General Meeting. It is unclear how and when this will occur. Once we have a firm plan, we will naturallyshare that information with all our members.

1546 – Health & Safety Standard – Plan

We continue to encourage our members to develop their individual Centre Health & Safety Standard Plan. This plan is a requirement of the re-opening process and must be independently reviewed by a SME (Subject Matter Expert). The details of the requirement can be found in the AGCO announcement of the 3rd June 2020.

I am aware the OCGA has been working on the approach of our Charity (Volunteer) Colleagues and it is our understanding that when we re-open the Centres there will be a phased approach to their direct Centre re-engagement process. The decision or approach will be formally communicated to OCGA members by the OCGA and we are awaiting that formal announcement.  

We are currently looking at providing a name[s] of a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for our members but we are encouraging you, if you have a local person or company in mind, to encourage them to contact the AGCO for clearance prior to starting any review or assessment of your plans.

1547 – Consumer Behaviours

We all acknowledge that when we return to the operational business, it will be different. The expectations of the consumers around our housekeeping standards will be an issue that will be top of mind and we must, with every action our Team Members make, instill confidence in the services we are providing.

This is also a unique opportunity for us all to review and adapt (where deemed to enhance value) the delivery process or transactionswe have with our Team Members, Customers and Support Services. 

This may be looking at the following areas:

  • Sessional Opening Times / Length
  • Packaging of (Bingo) Sales / Single Point of Contact
  • Pricing Strategies  
  • Prizing Strategies – Realigned and Balanced
  • Consumer Experience
  • Consumers Flow/Centre Journey
  • Team Members Interaction / Touch-points 

There is the view, which we are seeing in the broader society, that everyone is willing to accept change to ensure that they are safe and the people around them are. We should take this opportunity to ensure we constructively leverage this situation to enhance our Team Members and Consumers experience for the mutual benefit to all.

If we look back to our Members Communication on the 6th March 2020, it was flagged then the need to provide ‘confidence’ to those who use our Centres. That has not changed.  

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