The Oakville, Ontario Canada Town Council plays dead for charitable bingo!
The views of acting Mayor Jeff Knoll reflect those of the local town council: Let charitable bingo drown. With that agenda in mind, the Oakville Town Council has refused to ratify the Charitable Gaming Centre Agreement of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
Eyesight of the Oakville Town Council
At issue was the existence of the Delta Bingo Hall and charitable bingo in Oakville. The momentum of the Oakville Town Council is to do nothing. The Council focused on two concerns: The first is a former referendum of local citizens showing that the majority were opposed to gaming within their community; and the second involves the allegedly loose language of the OLG agreement, leaving the door open to video lottery devices and slot equipment.
Cam Johnstone, Delta Bingo owner, acknowledged that the agreement would give the OLG the authority to determine the type of charitable gaming equipment that would be present in the bingo hall. However, Johnstone is well aware of the negative impact on community charities should the eBingo agreement not proceed. Johnstone has therefore pressed the Town Council to approve the OLG agreement, clearly stating that he will be forced to close down his establishment as the result of the Council’s failure to sign the agreement.
Civitan Club of Oakville
True to his statement, Cam Johnstone had to close the doors of Delta Bingo after the Town Council refused to act on the OLG agreement in September 2012. In an open letter to the Council, the Civitan Club of Oakville outlined the damage to 34 local charities in the wake of the termination of charitable bingo.
The Civitan Club has provided support to many charitable organizations in the community for 53 years. For the past 26 years bingo provided a third of the club’s annual donations. During their existence, the Civitan Club has contributed in excess of $1 million to Oakville organizations. To date, the Oakville Town Council has chosen to close its eyes, ears and mouth to the needs of community charities by failing to approve the eBingo OLG agreement.