dot com Forms Charity Gaming Branch

17 August 2001
Charity bingo is about to be brought into the information age with dot com Entertainment Group. Inc.'s introduction of a not-for-profit gaming division.

The Internet gaming software company announced the formation of the new division earlier this week. Scott White, dot com's president and CEO, said the company has wanted to introduce Internet bingo technology to charities since its formation several years ago.

"We've been looking at the positive effect that what we call 'soft Internet gaming technologies' can have on charities for a long time now," he said. "In fact, the reason why we got into the development of Internet bingo in the first place was because of the potential for bingo to be used by charities to raise money online either as a form of content or through the application of charity bingo in a pay-for-play forum."

White said that for now the not-for-profit division will focus on providing Internet bingo to interested charities, although dot com eventually plans to offer non-profit lottery games and possibly even slot machines as well.

Since bingo is such a socially accepted form of gambling, White said the game is perfect for fundraising on charity websites during a time when more traditional sources of revenue are drying up.

"We believe that, in a regime where governments are giving less money to charities, where people are donating less money to charities, Internet gaming potentially can positively impact the way charities bring money to themselves," he said.

The Oakville, Ontario-based company choose a third-sector veteran to head the division. Vaughn McIntyre, former CEO of, Canada's first online fundraising ASP, will serve as director of dot com's not-for-profit services. He said that most charities are looking for new ways to raise funds and that more and more of them are finding bingo to be an acceptable way of garnering donations.

"We are planning on stepping in and assisting those charities with [attracting] those people who want to use this form of having fun and entertainment to donate money to charities," McIntyre said.

White said that dot com has spoken to "brand-name" international charities that are interested in the concept. He said the company's nondisclosure policy prevented him from identifying specific charities dot com has had contact with.

The goal is to make the division as international as possible, McIntyre said, although his focus at the beginning will be on the more than 78,000 charities in Canada.

The nature of Internet gambling law in the United States may prevent U.S. charities from operating Internet bingo, but, according to White, many charities have segments that operate independently in different parts of the world.

"There would be nothing stopping one of those factions from operating an Internet bingo game in a jurisdiction where that activity is lawful," he said.