The Canadian Gaming Association’s (CGA) Vice President, Paul Burns has been appointed as the organisation’s new President and CEO. The CGA publicly announced Burns’s promotion, effective immediately, to the position in a statement made on Thursday, 1 March, 2018. Burns, who takes over from former President and CEO, William P. Rutsey, brings over two decades of experience to this pivotal position in the Canadian gaming and online casino industry.
He is an expert in public affairs and has brought this skill to bear in many of Canada’s top public and private institutions – largely within or connected to the gaming industry. Burns told the press that his two decades in gaming have given him a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities that face the industry in Canada at the moment.
The upward trajectory of Burns’s career began when he was appointed as a senior policy advisor to the Ontario minister responsible for gaming in the province. His primary responsibility in this role was to oversee the successful launch of Ontario’s charity casino model and slots-at-racetrack programme.
His work in the public sector continued later on, when he served as Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Toronto, overseeing public transit and economic development matters. Having held these and other key government positions, Burns has the knowledge and skills enables Burns to make informed decisions with regard to policy development and implementation.
Burns’s appointment to the top spot at the Canadian Gaming Association was undoubtedly hard earned. He joined the non-profit organisation in 2005 as its Public Affairs Vice President and has served in this role ever since. He has been instrumental in the growth of the CGA from a fledgling organisation into powerful force – which includes the country’s leading manufacturers, suppliers and operators – in the Canadian gaming sector. In his role as CGA Vice President, he focused primarily on critical areas such as legislative and regulatory matters and responsible gambling.
He also provided leadership in addressing emerging issues within the industry. In addition to his work with the CGA, Burns has served various other major players in the industry. This included roles as Corporate Compliance Officer at Canada-based international gaming company, RPC Gaming; and RPC Anchor Gaming Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Burns’s extensive experience in public affairs – he has consulted for one of Canada’s top PA firms – adds further strength to his capacity to lead the Canadian Gaming Association going forward.
Chair of the CGA Board of Directors, Robert Parente described Burns as a world-class gaming executive, applauding his extensive knowledge of the Canadian gaming sector. Parente added that Burns’s exceptional leadership skills and vision are just what is required to advance the CGA in coming years.
Photo credit: Calvin Ayre