Revitalization Initiative Marks $16.5 Million Raised for Local Charities

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Ontario’s Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization initiative is marking an important milestone in Kingston.

Over $16.5 million has been raised and has benefited more than 120 charities which are part of the Treasure Chest Bingo Association and Community Spirit Gaming Association as a result of the revitalization of charitable bingo and gaming.

This program, which began over a decade ago, is delivered through a partnership between Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association (OCGA), the Commercial Gaming Association of Ontario (CGAO), local charities and gaming and bingo centre operators.

Treasure Chest Bingo hosted the official celebration for the $16.5 million milestone. Treasure Chest Bingo converted to a Charitable Gaming Centre in 2005, and Community Spirit in 2012.

Friday’s event was attended by Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala, Deputy Mayor Jim Neill, Diane Gartshore, Director of Product & Marketing, Charitable Gaming at OLG, and Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association.

“Raising $16.5 million since 2005 to benefit local charities and non-profit organizations in our community is quite a remarkable achievement,” says Sophie Kiwala, MPP for the riding of Kingston and the Islands. “This is money that helps to support arts organizations, amateur athletes, schools, healthcare organizations and many, many others. I particularly want to acknowledge and congratulate the dedicated volunteers who log many hours each month supporting their charities and non-profit organizations. It is their efforts that make all the difference.”

“OLG is proud of the Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization initiative and the role we play in providing sustainable revenue sources to the charities that serve the City of Kingston,” said Diane Gartshore, Director of Product & Marketing, Charitable Gaming at OLG.

“Today is celebrating the wonderful success of Charitable Gaming in Kingston,” said Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the OCGA. “This initiative is making a big difference to many local charities that provide important programs and services.”

Background on Charitable Gaming in Ontario

In the past 12 years, OLG has been working with the CGAO and the OCGA to revitalize the province’s Charitable Bingo and Gaming industry. By developing and introducing new products and technologies that have invigorated the traditional charitable gaming experience, more money has been generated for thousands of local charities across the province. The revitalization initiative is preserving and enhancing funding for charities across Ontario while creating economic benefits, including employment opportunities at local charitable gaming centres.

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A pilot program was started in 2005 to test electronic versions of existing paper-based bingo games with six charity bingo centres in five communities in Ontario.

Following the success of this pilot project, a phased rollout of a new suite of electronic games was introduced to other charitable gaming sites in the province. This started in 2012. The new charitable games offer customers more choice, and complement existing paper bingo games:

  • Electronic Bingo: Charitable Gaming Centres offer terminals with touch screens that allow players to touch the screen to dab the numbers and play along.
  • Play On Demand (POD): A collection of electronic games that can be played anytime, with great prizes to be won.
  • Tap Tix: The evolution of the classic Break Open Ticket features an interactive display screen on a ticket dispenser.

The new games allow Charitable Gaming Centres to offer more customer choice and appeal to a broader demographic, while providing a different gaming entertainment experience from traditional bingo.

In total, 31 Charitable Gaming Centres have raised more than $175 million in additional money for local charities and their communities.

As part of the revitalization OLG implemented its responsible gambling platform, PlaySmart, at all 31 Charitable Gaming Centres. The PlaySmart program and on-site PlaySmart Centres provide staff, volunteers, new and seasoned players with information on positive play and assistance to those who may express concerns about their gambling. PlaySmart is the go-to place for facts, tools and advice. Approximately every other month PlaySmart Centre staff visit the sites to answer questions, connect with players, and run interactive educational events. PlaySmart Centres are operated and managed by the Responsible Gambling Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of problem gambling.

OLG is the Ontario government agency that delivers gaming entertainment in a socially responsible manner. OLG conducts and manages gaming facilities, the sale of province-wide lottery games, PlayOLG Internet gaming, the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres and is helping to build a more sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario.

Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $47 billion to the Province and the people of Ontario. These payments to the province support the operation of hospitals, amateur sport through the Quest for Gold program, local and provincial charities and problem gambling prevention, treatment and research.

All for Here – 100 per cent of OLG’s proceeds are invested in Ontario
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