Electronic Bingo Postponed in Toronto

Plans to reintroduce electronic bingo into Canadian bingo halls has been postponed as a result of the government management committee meeting Thursday.

The deal to allow electronic bingo and other electronic games into bingo halls has been returned to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation for further review. The findings will not become available until fall.

Introducing electronic bingo is an aspect of the OLG's Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization Initiative. Two bingo halls located in Toronoto are for adding this technology in their establishments but must obtain city approval.

City staff suggests that the city would see a decrease in licensing revenue under the terms of the OLG financial commission model.

Government management committee chairman Councillor Paul Ainslie expressed concerns regarding the bingo contract.

'It was just kind of like it or lump it for a lot of municipalities,' he said.

Councillor Frances Nunziata has over 40 years of experience with bingo beginning as a part-time employee in a bingo hall and later serving as a volunteer at charity bingo games as a parent and politician.

'If it wasn't for the revenue that charities make at bingo, a lot of these charities would be coming to the city asking for grants,' she said.

Nunziata also confirmed that the city has gone down to six bingo halls from twenty seven in the last ten years.

'If you add up all that revenue that the city has lost in licensing fees from 27 to six, that's a huge amount of revenue that we've lost … let alone the charities that were displaced,' she said.

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