The View - 235

Charitable Gaming - THE VIEW

1699 – cGaming – Back in the Community

1700 – cGaming Joint Conference – Navigating Change

1701 – Community Entertainment Venues

1702 – PlaySmart Teams – Active

1703 – Discovery Conference – 2022

1704 – Charity Gaming: Community Good

1705 – People on the Move

1699 – cGaming – Back in the Community

The ongoing work by our members in seeking recovery of the business after the impacts of the Covid Pandemic continues. Generally, our members are encouraged by the progress. It is not without its challenges, but slowly our members are rising to those challenges. The one area we are encouraged about is our revenue contributions for our Community Based Charity Groups and we are now, on average, delivering around $C1.3m per week across our 2,200 Charity Groups.

As we head into the winter months, we are monitoring potential headwinds that could emerge in this economic cycle we are going through. The squeeze on household budgets, and thus impacts on discretionary spending, could impact the business through 2023. Our members are looking at how we could offset any potential negative impact by offering compelling social experiences that are priced accordingly.

We are seeking to ensure that we have a focus on an effective and efficient business model that drives positive returns for all our partners and stakeholders. We continue to be encouraged by the level of re-investment our members continue to make, both in terms of the venues and our teams. This was always intended to be deployed in an incremental fashion and we see this approach being undertaken by many of our members.

At the request of the Chair (Mr. Tony Rosa) and Vice Chair (Mr. Cam Johnstone), we have reached out to three (3) marketing agencies to seek quotes on further understanding the social, casual, local Gamer. The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and we, as a sector, need to obtain a greater understanding of the customer profile and their expectations for our members. We will be briefing members on this in more detail in early 2023.

1700 – cGaming Joint Conference – Navigating Change

On the 15th & 16th November, in Mississauga, the CGAO and OCGA re-activated our Joint Conference, which is designed to profile and promote the tremendous contribution we, with our partners, give to this province.

Navigating Change banner

This was the first time we undertook a joint keynote address with the AGCO & OLG and, as an additional bonus, having both the Chairs and CEOs on the same stage echoing similar messages of support for the Charitable Gaming sector. This was within the context of the tremendous changes that are occurring in Ontario and how the Charitable Gaming sector needs to step up within the broader gambling environment.

We were equally pleased that iGO and their Executive Director – Ms. Martha Otton addressed the conference on the work and progress her team has completed since the launch of iGaming on the 4th of April 2022 in the province. Clearly, Martha and her team need to be congratulated on what they have achieved to date.

The panel on PlaySmart, having both the Vice President from the OLG and Director from RG-C, talk to the continuing work that OLG, RG-C and CGAO have been engaged in over numerous years, was very encouraging. This is an area we take very seriously and have an active role in promoting and supporting. This is made easier through the positive and engaging approach by both Catherine (OLG) and Lorelle (RG-C) who both take the time to explain, share and, more importantly, listen to the sector.

We thank all the panelists who contributed to the conference’s success.

Finally, to the Conference Co-Ordinating Team, Patricia Petrolo, Richard Schwar, and Mary O’Neill – sincere thanks to you for all your hard work and efforts in making the 2022 Navigating Change Conference so successful.

1701 – Community Entertainment Venues

Within the CGAO we continue to encourage and support our members in developing our new concept of Community Entertainment Venues, which echo and highlight the unique elements of our venues and their impacts in the communities they are located.

We are beginning to see our members connect the historical partnership with our charity partners and promote the valuable proposition we deliver. Recently, Community Gaming and Entertainment Group and the Delta Gaming Group have undertaken campaigns that begin to reflect this type of approach. These campaigns are having a positive side effect by generating Charitable Group interest and inquiries to join the program, which we are passing along to the local Charity Co-Ordinator.

We are looking to 2023 to further develop and transition into the Community Entertainment Venue space

1702 – PlaySmart Teams – Active

We continue with our incremental and long-standing engagement of PlaySmart, and Social Responsibility and ensure all our team members undertake the required training to have the skills to assist our customers if, and when, they require assistance and support. It is the ‘confidence’ by our team members to engage with consumers that is the critical piece as early as possible. Hence, Sustainable Play is going to be a key focus in 2023 by the CGAO and we will look to leverage the vast knowledge and experience at both OLG and RG-C to bring more awareness and light on this issue. 

We do recognize the importance of partnership with the OLG and RG-C in delivering a professional Social Responsibility Program to and for our staff and consumer base.

Play.Smart logo

We must not lose sight of the fact that most of our customers play responsibly. However, this does not mean we should not provide additional information & education to ensure we focus on player sustainability and let our customer undertake informed choices.

1703 – Discovery Conference – 2022

In the first part of November, the Team at RG-C played host to their international recognized Discovery Conference. This conference now, in its 20th year, is a leading conference in this field and attracts a vast international group of both speakers and delegates.

This year, after two years of being hosted virtually, we were able to gather in person and it was encouraging to see and catch up with so many different people who you don’t see on a day-to-day basis.

The issues and development around Player Sustainability, Player Affordability and Social Responsibility are moving forward in equal measure as the various sectors develop. Maintaining balance is a critical element in remaining the ‘Social Licence’ we have with the general population, and we collectively must work to retain that confidence.

RGC logo

The CGAO Board, especially the Chair (Mr. Tony Rosa), requires that the CEO of CGAO be in attendance, at the Canadian Conferences and deploy the time and energy in maintaining positive relationships with required groups and share insights with our members.

1704 – Charity Gaming: Community Good

At our Joint Conference, we saw the tremendous work that has been deployed in building this platform through the cGaming Charitable Marketing Fund, the foundation piece. The Web Site is now operational and will shortly be merged with the OCGA main web platform. This makes strategic sense as they are both interlinked. Naturally, as a digital platform the analytics that have now been provided offers real insights in how the team can improve and enhance the ‘value proposition’ to the platform users. As mentioned at the conference, the cGaming Charitable Market Fund is more than willing to partner with Commercial Operators on programs/initiatives where mutual objectives can be achieved.

Hence, it is extremely important that we all support what the Team is doing here and recognize that brands are built through collective energy and engagement. The project leader, Ms. Mary O’Neill, supported by the OCGA team, has produced a structured development path and we just need to get behind it.

Charitable Gaming. Community Good.

1705 – People on the Move

Great Canadian Entertainment Group has announced senior Director changes within the Group. Thus, the following changes have been announced:

  • Mr. Tony Rodio - Will retire as Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Company. The Board of Directors thank him for his tremendous contributions.
  • Mr. Mathew Anfinson - Currently the Chief Operating Officer is promoted to Chief Executive Officer, bringing his vast operational knowledge to the Group as it drives its strategic objectives.
  • Mr. Jordan Banks - The Board has appointed the first Executive Chairperson of the Group.

We wish them and the whole team at Great Canadian Entertainment every success in their ongoing strategies.

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