In an effort to grow the lottery and gaming sector in Sault Ste. Marie, community representatives are taking part in the 18th Canadian Gaming Summit, in conjunction with the 15th Charitable Gaming Conference. Hosted this week in Vancouver, B.C., it is Canada’s premier annual symposium and exhibition for gaming professionals. The event delivers face-to-face interaction between delegates from all gaming sectors, disciplines and regions within Canada and around the world, and is the leading provider of information, education and interaction to the Canadian gaming community. More than 1,400 people are attending this year’s conference from hundreds of businesses and organizations.
With an opportunity to showcase the community, along with its competitive advantages, to industry professionals, the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) and Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) have a strong presence at the 2014 Canadian Gaming Summit. The two organizations, which are working together to bolster the city’s lottery and gaming sector, are there promoting Sault Ste. Marie as a centre for next generation lottery and gaming.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to raise the profile and make the business case that our community has the expertise, infrastructure and other industry advantages that make us a competitive location to host public and private sector lottery and gaming organizations,” said Tom Dodds, CEO of the SSMEDC. “We’re getting the message out there that Sault Ste. Marie is an industry leader with resident expertise that is second to none. So far, the discussions we’ve had with representatives from the sector have been both positive and promising.”
Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) is undergoing a modernization process and engaging the private sector. Sault Ste. Marie, which is home to the headquarters of the OLG and a casino, has an opportunity to play a key role in the transition of the industry. As such, community organizations, along with the OLG, are working to ensure that the city is best positioned to take advantage of the modernization efforts. Attending the 2014 Canadian Gaming Summit is a key component of further promoting Sault Ste. Marie to the national and international lottery and gaming sector.
“We’re meeting with decision makers from private sector businesses – folks who have global ventures and may be operating part of the province’s lottery and gaming functions in the years to come,” said Tom Vair, Executive Director of the SSMIC. “We’re being proactive and branding Sault Ste. Marie as a hub of the lottery and gaming industry as well as showcasing some of the development work of Algoma Games for Health.”
Algoma Games for Health is currently working with Canadian Bank Note Company on a project that will include the creation of six play-on-demand games for the charitable bingo industry. At the 2014 Canadian Gaming Summit, the SSMIC is showcasing the first three games that have been developed as part of this initiative.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, the SSMEDC and SSMIC established a Digital Gaming Taskforce to help in their efforts to further advance the Sault’s local lottery and gaming sector. The group, which provides strategic lottery and gaming advice to the community, consists of industry experts and representatives from key organizations, including the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Canadian Banknote Company, BMR Brooks Marketing Resources, The Debono Group, Pollard Banknote Limited, Algoma University, Sault College, the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, and the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre.
With a strong presence at the 2014 Canadian Gaming Summit, this is the first time Sault Ste. Marie has presented itself as an international hub for lottery and gaming. The SSMEDC and SSMIC have made this initiative a priority and expect to return from the conference having raised the community’s profile as a place to do business and with solid leads to follow up on.