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HomeiGaming NewsCanadian Gaming Association Appoints New Board Members Amid Strategic Update - Covers

Canadian Gaming Association Appoints New Board Members Amid Strategic Update – Covers

The refresh of the CGA's board comes at a busy time for Canadian gaming, especially following the legalization of single-game sports betting in August of 2021.
An industry group that has helped spearhead big changes in Canadian gambling, including the boom in sports betting sites, has refreshed its board of directors as it prepares to strike out with a new strategic plan. 
The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) announced on Thursday that several new members have been appointed to the group’s board, which happened during its annual general meeting on December 7.
One of the newly appointed directors is Mark Harper, the general manager of NS Sports, which is the parent company of Covers, SBR, and ProSportsDaily.
The other new members are Bruce Caughill, the managing director for Canada for BetRivers-owner Rush Street Interactive; Charmaine Hogan, the head of regulatory affairs at Playtech; Dale Hooper, the general manager of the Canadian arm of FanDuel; Niaz Nejad, the senior vice president and head of marketing for the U.S. and Canada at Aristocrat Gaming; and Scott Vanderwel, the CEO of the Canadian arm of PointsBet.
“We welcome Charmaine, Bruce, Niaz, Mark, Dale, and Scott to the CGA board and believe their experience will help the Association launch its new strategic plan to guide our growth and development over the next several years,” said Paul Burns, president and CEO of the CGA, in a press release. “Their subject matter expertise and professional skill set make them ideally suited to lead the CGA at this exceptional time, as we are evolving our way of working to meet the needs and be of service to our members, while driving our mission forward.”
It is indeed a busy time for Canadian gaming. After the CGA and others successfully lobbied lawmakers to drop the ban on single-game wagering last year, there has been a boom in legal sports betting in Canada. 
That boom has been driven by Ontario, which launched a first-of-its-kind market for internet gambling that allows private-sector operators to legally offer online sports betting and casino gaming. More than 30 operators have taken Canada’s most populous province up on the offer, and Ontario’s peers are likely watching closely to see if its model can be replicated within their borders. 
While there are still gains to be had by the Canadian gaming industry, the CGA and others will also have to safeguard what’s already been won. Among other things, the abundance of sports betting-related advertising and tough media coverage in the United States could nudge policymakers to revisit some of the decisions already made.
“Increased representation is important to ensure that the work of the board reflects the diverse needs of Canadian gaming,” said Ilkim Hincer, chair of the CGA board, in the release. “I look forward to continued collaboration with the board as we work together to shape a progressive environment that enables this industry to succeed.”
Burns told Covers on Friday that the CGA did some surveys and focus groups throughout the fall as it started thinking about the update to the strategic plan. 
Among other things, what they heard back was general support for the direction in which the association is heading, but also recognition of the sudden growth in the domestic industry and the need to resource the group appropriately as it continues its advocacy work. And, while Ontario’s iGaming market has sucked up a lot of oxygen, there is a desire to turn the CGA’s focus on other parts of Canada. 
“The new board will have a chance to put the final touches on the strategic plan early in the New Year,” Burns said. 
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