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TORONTO, April 27 – The Canadian gaming industry recognized the achievements of several of its leading members during the first Canadian Gaming Awards Gala Benefit held last night in Toronto, as part of the Canadian Gaming Summit. Comedian Martin Short (SCTV, Saturday Night Live) headlined the event, proceeds from which were donated to Variety – The Children’s charity. “We believe in coming together to recognize the pioneers who have helped build our industry and those who make their communities better places to live,” said Bill Rutsey, President of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), host of the awards gala and the Summit. “We are also pleased that this year marks the start of a new trend for our awards, helping raise valuable funds for a great cause.”
This year the proceeds from the awards gala will go to Variety – The Children’s Charity, recognized around the world as a leader in helping children with disabilities and other barriers through integrated sports and life skills programs. For more than 60 years, Variety has been dedicated to the inclusion and participation of all young people, regardless of their abilities, both at their flagship project Variety Village and out in the community.
“We are so pleased to be the first charity to benefit from the Canadian Gaming Awards Gala Benefit,” said Lynne Wallace, President and CEO of Variety. “This money will allow us to do great things for young people in our communities. The funding will go towards programs that make sure all children have a chance to be active and feel included.”
The awards recognize excellence and achievement in two distinct areas: one annual award for Exemplary Volunteerism & Community Support and two awards for long-term leadership and outstanding contribution.
The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) was the recipient of the award for Exemplary Volunteerism and Community Support.
“Our vision is one of shared success,” said SIGA CEO Zane Hansen. “We are committed to strengthening the lives of Saskatchewan and First Nations people through employment, economic growth and community relations. And one of our primary industries for doing that is gaming.”
Award winners for Industry Leadership and Outstanding Contribution were Muriel Grimble, Executive Director, Gaming Products and Services for the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission (ALGC) and Kevin Laforet, CEO of Casino Windsor.
“Kevin was one of the very first hires at Casino Windsor in 1993, and has risen through the ranks to become the CEO, demonstrating that a Canadian could indeed aspire to operate a major facility in competition with established American operators,” said Mr. Rutsey in presenting the award. Laforet is currently leading Casino Windsor through a $400 million expansion and the upcoming re-branding as Caesars Windsor.
“Muriel Grimble’s influence in developing a thriving gaming industry in Alberta has been profound,” said Mr. Rutsey. “She is recognized across North America as a tireless leader in the development of our industry.” A small sample of her career highlights include: launching 6/49 in Alberta; early sponsorship of AGLC’s commitment to responsible gaming initiatives; and playing a principle role in growing Alberta’s gaming business to a thriving $2 billion dollar(profit) industry.
In addition to the awards presented annually at the gala benefit, the CGA and the Canadian Gaming Business magazine will recognize significant achievement across all industry sectors.
The Canadian Gaming Summit is a three-day gathering of more than 1,200 industry representatives hosted by the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA). Attendees represent all aspects of Canada’s gaming industry, including casinos, horseracing, bingo, lottery, charitable, gaming equipment suppliers, legal and financial professionals, First Nations representatives, security experts, and many others. Complete information on the 2007 Canadian Gaming Summit can be found at www.canadiangamingsummit.com.
The Canadian Gaming Association represents the gaming industry’s leading operators, manufacturers, suppliers and other stakeholders nation-wide. www.canadiangaming.ca
For further information: Media contact: Paul Burns, Vice President, Public Affairs, Canadian Gaming Association, 44 Victoria Street, Suite 300, Toronto, ON, M5C 1Y2, Direct: (416) 304-6870, Cell: (416) 579-3922, email@example.com; Cathy Kurzbock, Hill & Knowlton, Direct: (416) 413-1218, Ext. 4550, firstname.lastname@example.org
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