The View - 214

Charitable Gaming - THE VIEW

1557 – Sector Re-Opening – Progress

1558 – Centre Conversion

1559 – Traditional Bingo Events

1560 – CGAO Vendors/Suppliers

1561 – Charity Awareness/Brand – Development

1562 – Health & Wellness

1563 – Retail (Gaming) Sector – Under Pressure

1557 – Sector Re-Opening – Progress

On Wednesday the 12th August, Windsor Essex Region entered stage three (3) of the Ontario Re-Opening plan. This now brings all the cGaming Centres into a reduced operating platform that allows us to re-engage with our consumers. 

As we re-open the Centres we are doing so in measured and managed process, to ensure we can focus on the People Management’ while counter balancing this, against the operational performance of the business. This has been a learning period for us all, and we continue to make improvements or adjustments as we continue to slowly move forward each day.

The introduction of phase product strategy has been the right one for our Sector at this moment, and although we are all keen to re-introduce Live Main Session Bingo clearly this is not the time to do so, but the opportunity to re-introduce our Single Play Bingo Games (PoDs) and Turbo Challenge (Shutter-board) to our consumers is a good one. We need to be measured and patient to re-build the consumer confidence in our Centres and our Experience.

We do need to acknowledge the support we received from our Crown Corporations as we began the re-opening process and we therefore wanted to publicly acknowledge both AGCO – Mr. Tom Mungham and OLG – Ms. Lori Sullivan and their operational c-Gaming teams who assisted our Members through the re-opening phase, their work and efforts have been duly acknowledged and appreciated.

The early indication of performance, has been inline in management expectations and we are seeing, although incredibly early, encouraging signs, this has begun to restore an element of confidence, as we slowly, slowly, begin the long road to a financial recovery.

1558 – Centre Conversion

With all the work we have been engaged in on the collective re-opening elements, it was encouraging to see on the last day of July [as part of the GTA re-opening scheduled] that Delta Gaming Group launched it’s new flag ship Community Gaming Centre (Downsview) in Toronto.

This was undertaken without fanfare in a focused and measured fashion, that is reflective of the trading environment the retail sector is facing and with the customer restrictions, they are operating under [maximum 50 customers].

The CEO – Mr. Cam Johnstone, has been mindful that his Charity Partners at Downsview, have been without any ‘Fund Distributions’ since April ’20 and knowing the work they are engaged in, within the community, wanted to ensure they had an opportunity as soon as possible to received funds.

The ‘soft’ launch will also allow the Delta Operational Team a runway to align to the new systems and process that the Centre will now operate under. This conversion has been under planning for a long period of time and I am sure you will join me in wishing Team Delta, every success with their new Operational Flag Ship.  

1559 – Traditional Bingo Events

It has been encouraging to see that our Traditional Bingo Centres are undertaking the concepts which were spearheaded by Community Gaming & Entertainment and the Delta Gaming Group, being Car Park Bingo and Curb Side Bingo.

Both have been well received by our consumers who see that they are both creative ways to enjoy their social/recreational time. This has also added a ‘life-line’ in the direct connection to consumer base while generating Funds for our Charity Partners, once again we see the value of the Commercial Operators using their resources/skills to seek a path forward, within a difficult trading environment.

1560 – CGAO Vendors/Suppliers

We wanted to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank our Vendors/Suppliers who have all worked extremely hard and long hours to ensure we were Operational Ready’ for the re-openings of our Centres. 

Therefore, we wish to note the Operational Teams of Arrow Games, Bazaar Marketing, CBN, Diamond Game, Design Electronic, IGT and Speciality Print each had various roles to play and in some case under tight operational timelines. It is therefore important to acknowledge their hard work and contributions.

1561 – Charity Awareness/Brand – Development

During the Spring and Summer, the OCGA has been busy preparing and developing aBrand Awareness’ initiative for the Charitable Groups engaged in cGaming in our Province. This is in the final stages of approval and once the OCGA Board had approved it, there will be a formal launch of the Brand by the OCGA.

We are certainly supportive of this approach that profiles the uniqueness of the industry within the Gaming Sector, while bringing a positive spotlight on the community projects our charities are engaged in.

1562 – Health & Wellness

We continue to profile and bring awareness to the importance of Play-Smart and the educational and informational platforms it provides consumers on informed choices, while offering supporting elements to the minority of consumers who feel they could benefit from the additional support structures/options it offers.

We have all been hearing on the television or radio of the increased awareness of ‘mental health’ and therefore it is even more critical we take the extra time to brief our Team Members to be vigilant on the ‘Red Flag Behaviours’ and how to engage with consumers effectively once identified. 

1563 – Retail (Gaming) Sector – Under Pressure

The Covid-19 Pandemic is re-shaping how we do business around the globe, we can see some prime examples in the UK where there is a Retail Shake-up under way. 

In July ’20, the Buzz Bingo Group Limited (Formally Gala) announced it would not re-opening twenty-six (26) Bingo Clubs, when they come out of the current lock-down period. This will in effective reduce their total Bingo Club Estate to ninety-one (91) Clubs. 

In early August ’20, William Hill PLC, announced that they will not be re-open One Hundred and Nineteen (119) (High Street – Betting) Shops on the UK mainland, with a further thirty five (35) in Northern Ireland and Isle of Man being sold, bring the total estate down to 1,414 shops. 

In both cases, each company is reporting increasing play on their online digital platform and engagement by the consumer. This is reflective of all Retail channels who recognize in the future it will be a demand of the consumer to have choice as to how they engage with their chosen brand and products.  

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