The View - 222

Charitable Gaming - THE VIEW

1608 – Ontario Re-Opening Continues – Step 2

1609 – Single Sport Waging – Bill C-218

1610 – Canada Day – 2021

1611 – Social Responsibility & Community Impact

1612 – Charities & Communities

1608 – Ontario Re-Opening Continues – Step 2

As announced recently, Ontario will move to Step 2 of the re-opening plan a few days earlier than anticipated because of the encouraging numbers of vaccination rates for first and second jabs. This will trigger a twenty-one (21) day countdown to the re-opening of Step 3, subject to no new variants entering the province.

 Both cGaming and Bingo venues are included in Step 3. The only unknown currently is capacity limits, and we are seeking clarification as quickly as possible. We realize this is an important element to individual member’s planning process to re-open.

 We are encouraging our members to begin their re-opening plan as quickly as possible so that we are prepared and ready to open our venues at and on the announced date. We would remind members of some quick tips in building back capacity.

Building Back Capacity [Quick-Tips]

Getting Ready

  • Review all Health Protocols
    • Make changes where required
    • Check-in with your local Health Authority
  • Communication with Team Members (Staff)
    • Confirm they are willing and able to return to work when called
    • Ensure individual AGCO Registration status
      • AGCO will assist
    • Update and refresh Play-Smart protocols – Red Flag refresher
  • Engage and inform [AGCO & OLG] 

Being Prepared

  • Measured and Focused
    • Marketing and promotional campaign
  • Customers will accept a once in a generation ‘change’ factor
    • Communication is the key 
  • Re-balance Bingo Programmes
    • Structure/pricing/prizing strategies
  • It will be about the experience and events
    • Social and engaging
    • Something different that will appeal
    • Social and fun 
  • More than a Bingo Centre
    • Community-based entertainment venues  

We are encouraging a gradual and measured rebuild to consumer offerings, while we collectively see the consumers response. We must ensure we continue to have the business in scale and not undertake high expenses without the opportunity to build revenue. This will be a learning curve for all of us.

 This re-engagement offers a unique opportunity for real and lasting change which we believe, when managed and communicated correctly, will be accepted by the consumers. Let’s not lose the opportunity to reposition and recalibrate the consumer experience.    

 We encourage all members to remain in close contact, communicate and engage with our OLG cGaming Relationship Advisor[s] and our AGCO Inspector[s] as we frame our re-opening plans. Both Crown Agencies are here to assist and help as we move forward.

1609 – Single Sport Waging – Bill C-218

In the final weeks of June, after numerous years of lobbying and advocating for federal changes to allow provinces to operate Single Sport Waging, Bill C-218 was approved by the Senate. There have been numerous organisations engaged in this process, but our colleagues at the Canadian Gaming Association have been at the forefront of this initiative and they deserve credit for their role in this achievement.

However, this was not a solo achievement. There are many others who equally deserve the credit; in our province, the AGCO and OLG, just to name a few. This achievement will have the ability to transform the gaming landscape across the country.

1610 – Canada Day – 2021

On the 1st July 2021, it will be Canada Day. This will be another year of less jubilate celebrations due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and other issues affecting the country.  However, the second half of the year looks more optimistic than the first half, which can only be a good thing.

1611 – Social Responsibility & Community Impact

As we prepare to re-open and welcome back both team members and consumers into our venues, it important we do not lose sight of the need to refresh our team members with the high-level touchpoints and red flag behaviours in connection to PlaySmart 

We are continuing to work through new avenues to gain ‘touch or connection points’ to the consumers in a constructive fashion that brings awareness and opportunity for further information and education on gambling with balance during their centre visits. More to come on this in the coming weeks. One suggestion that is gaining some traction is the deployment of a coffee sleeve with the PlaySmart logo and web address. This is a non-intrusive avenue to bring awareness to the consumers.

We continue to be more aware of the challenges this lengthy pandemic is having on mental health. We are all attuned to listening to colleagues a little closer to ensure we offer support where required or direct them to the appropriate support.

The health and well-being of all is of paramount importance and just being a little kinder with our time does have value.

1612 – Charities & Communities

As we re-open venues, it is not the intent to bring back our numerous charity volunteers in the first wave. It has been agreed this will occur late in the Fall when conditions improve, and we see how the business and operational climate performs. During the spring and summer months, our colleagues at the OCGA, led by Ms. Lynn Cassidy, have reached out directly to all the Centre Charity Association Executives, providing an update on the collective progress and challenges we have been facing over the past fifteen months.

It must be pointed out that with all the headwinds we have encountered, we have still managed to provide an estimated $C22m to our Charity Groups, which is remarkable considering the market conditions we have faced. Full credit goes to all our partners in that achievement [AGCO, OLG Municipalities].

charitable gaming logo

The OCGA continues to highlight, promote, and inform the broader population of the excellent work Charitable Gaming has been doing in this province over the last 50 years. This has often been overlooked. This is a step to re-position that information gap in a very engaged and positive fashion. We know Brands are not created, they are built through the commitments and efforts of all concerned.

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