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Canada

Great Canadian Entertainment Appoints Pauline Alimchandani as CFO

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Great Canadian Entertainment has announced that it has appointed Pauline Alimchandani as Chief Financial Officer, effective March 31, 2024, subject to customary regulatory approvals. At that time current CFO Darren Gwozd will step down from the role. Ms. Alimchandani will be responsible for overseeing the Company’s finance organization.

“I am delighted to welcome Pauline to our exceptional senior management team. Her extensive public company experience and deep record of successful leadership roles in finance, capital markets and financial reporting, will be immensely valuable as we continue to remain focused on delivering long-term growth and creating value for our stakeholders in a socially responsible way. I look forward to her contributions,” Matthew Anfinson, Chief Executive Officer of Great Canadian, said.

“Darren has been a valuable member of our Finance team for more than six years and has helped lead our organization through a transformational period. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the senior management team, and Great Canadian’s team members, we want to thank Darren for his many years of leadership,” Mr. Anfinson added.

“I am very excited to join Great Canadian and see significant opportunity to build upon the Company’s strong financial and operational foundation, while developing capabilities that further establish the Company’s competitive advantage,” Ms. Alimchandani said.

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Prior to joining Great Canadian, Ms. Alimchandani was Chief Financial Officer for Northland Power, where she oversaw a large global team across several key functions and chaired the organization’s Investment Committee. Ms. Alimchandani has over 18 years of professional experience, previously having served in roles that included Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dream Unlimited Corp, Vice President, Corporate Strategy at Dream, and Vice President, Equity Research at BMO Capital Markets. In 2020, she was awarded one of Canada’s 50 Best Executives by the Report on Business/Globe and Mail and in 2022, she was awarded Canada’s Clean 50, which is noted as being Canada’s top sustainability award.

Canada

Greo and CCSA Release New Report Named “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action”

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The report “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action” looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s. We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increase in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University.

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

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  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide. We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy,” Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA, said.

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Canada

Call for a National Strategy to Address Gambling-Related Harms in Wake of Sports Betting Boom

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Released today, Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University. “We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increased in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people.”

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide,” says Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA. “We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy.”

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Edict Egaming Secures Approval for Ontario Licence

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Edict egaming has received approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to provide its games for the online casino market in the Canadian province. This applies to both the German edict egaming GmbH and Edict Malta Limited. From now on, the Merkur Group subsidiary will be able to offer its popular Merkur slots in one of the largest North American markets.

“We are delighted to have received AGCO approval for our Merkur games in Ontario. This is definitely a big step for edict and we are very excited to showcase ourselves to new audiences on the global stage in this dynamic market,” Dominic-Daniel Liénard, CEO of edict egaming GmbH, said.

The AGCO is working with the Government of Ontario and iGaming Ontario (iGO) to establish a new online gaming market that helps protect consumers gambling through private gaming companies. This license certifies that edict operates within the framework of strict laws and meets the requirements for responsible gaming.

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