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Sports betting hopes for strengthened CGA

| By iGB Editorial Team
New board will implement strategic plan with hopes for regulatory changes in Ottawa

The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), bolstered by five new board members, is “hopeful” that regulatory changes in the US will lead to greater industry efforts to bring about similar changes on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

CGA adviser Amanda Brewer told iGamingBusiness.com that the new board members, headed by chair Carrie Kormos, will work towards implementing the trade association’s new strategic plan, CGA 2.0, which was approved earlier this year.

CGA 2.0 will provide the association’s roadmap for the next three to five years, with the three pillars being advocacy and awareness, research and innovation, and dialogue and convening. “The CGA and the board are busy with implementing the different parts of the strategic plan,” Brewer said.

However, the recent legislative developments south of the border, with the Supreme Court having overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May, have reignited hopes that sports betting could be given the green light in Canada.

The CGA has previously called on the federal government to make an amendment to the Criminal Code to permit single-event sports wagering. The request, which has been backed up by several provinces, has “fallen on deaf ears” in the past, according to Paul Burns, who was appointed president and CEO of the CGA in March.

“I would suggest that the Canadian gaming marketplace is looking more to Europe for teachings on the growing digital and interactive sectors rather than the US,” Brewer told iGamingBusiness.com.

“However, in terms of sports betting, the CGA is hopeful that the recent PASPA ruling will encourage renewed interest by lottery corporations and communities with gaming facilities to push for change in legislation in Ottawa.”

CGA’s board members are elected annually and the association does not have term limits. However, Brewer added to iGamingBusiness.com that chairs have traditionally served for a term of two years.

Kormos, the new chair, is senior vice-president of marketing and communication at Gateway Casinos & Entertainment.

“I’m thrilled that Carrie agreed to accept the role of chair,” Burns said.

“She has a sharp understanding of the Canadian political landscape from her work as a political adviser and chief of staff in a number of government ministries. She also has significant expertise in marketing and communications in our industry.”

Miller Thomson partner Danielle Bush will also serve as the association’s corporate secretary.

The other three new board members are Hard Rock’s vice-president of strategic affairs, Ilkim Hincer, HLT Advisory’s managing director, Robert Scarpelli and Responsible Gambling Council president and CEO Shelley White.

Burns said: “These are seasoned professionals who have strong track records as trusted leaders in the gaming industry. I look forward to tapping into their expertise as we focus on implementing the CGA's strategic plan.”

Aside from Kormos, Burns, Bush, Hincer, Scarpelli and White, there are seven other established CGA board members: John Drake, president & CEO, Casino Rama; David Flinn, regional vice-president, IGT Canada; Rick Meitzler, president, Novomatic Americas Sales; Bob Parente, SVP chief revenue officer, Scientific Games; Edward Peters, EVP sales and marketing, Everi; Spencer Peterson, VP technical compliance, Konami; and George Sweny, VP compliance, Stars Group.

Picture credit: Saffron Blaze, via www.mackenzie.co

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