Giving Tuesday 2014

By Ben Hamill - December 01 2014

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Giving Tuesday 2014 – Join and Give

For the second year, on the day after Cyber Monday, when gamers find great bargains on gaming hardware and software, gamers and everyone else in Canada will celebrate Giving Tuesday, a day devoted to charitable giving. Giving Tuesday is a relatively new phenomenon that started in New York City in 2012 and is fast gaining speed throughout the world. In Canada, it is sponsored by many organizations, charitable, non-profit, and educational. It is also sponsored by the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association (OCGA) in partnership with the Commercial Gaming Association of Ontario and Ontario Lottery and Gaming.

About the OCGA

The OCGA represents most charities and non-profits in Ontario that raise money for charity through gaming. The OCGA is involved with bingo, both traditional and electronic, raffles, social gaming events, and Nevadas, also known as break open tickets. The OCGA coordinates with other charitable organizations to raise money for charity through gaming.

Break Open Tickets

More than 6500 charities, non-profits, and other organizations use these tickets to raise money for charity. The tickets are sold for as little as 50 cents and have relatively small winnings, usually no more than $500. The purpose of these tickets is primarily charitable, with the gamer getting some action all the while knowing that most of the money spent is going to charity. Given that the tickets are mostly for charitable ends with only a minor gaming element, they are sold in many locations not necessarily associated with high-roller gambling such as convenience stores, Legion Centres, bingo halls, and through volunteer hospital associations. Tens of millions of dollars are raised annually through the sale of such tickets.

Charitable Bingo in Ontario

The OCGA is also directly involved in the revitalization of bingo and gaming centres throughout Ontario. Bingo parlors are a source of charitable giving, but have experienced a major downturn in the last two decades, both in number of bingo halls and the amount of money raised for charity.

From 230 Bingo Centres the number has dropped to about 60 and the number of charities raising money at bingo halls fell from 6000 to 2800. The revitalization effort is designed to re-open bingo and gaming centres, bring players back to existing centres, and generally to make the bingo-playing experience more fun, all the while not losing focus on the end goal: raising money for charity.

In the last decade, Charitable Bingo and Gaming Centres have given back more than $60,000,000 to the communities they serve. Among the initiatives benefitting from money raised at these centres are:

  • Athletic clubs and associations for all ages
  • After-school programs
  • Neighborhood and community services
  • A wide range of cultural activities
  • Animal shelters and humane societies
  • Medical centres
  • Food banks
  • Help for the physically disabled

You Can Help

On Giving Tuesdayâ„¢, December 2, 2014, you can give in many ways. You can simply make a donation to the charity of your choice. You can help by joining the OCGA. You can make Giving Tuesday the day you become involved in revitalizing Bingo and gaming centres. Or, in the true spirit of gaming, you can purchase a raffle ticket, Nevada ticket, or attend and play at the Bingo and Gaming Centre in your area.