Notable Charity and Community Projects Run by Casinos in Canada

Ed Scimia


Notable Charity and Community Projects Run by Casinos in Canada

This guide explores some of the more notable charity and community projects that Canadian casinos participate in. Charitable casinos are all over the live gaming industry, and there are many real-world casino community projects worth shining a spotlight on. Here’s a look at how Canadian casinos engage with charities today.

Why Casinos Take Part in Charity and Community Projects

autumnal tree canopy forms heart shape

Charitable casinos have many different motivations for participating in charity and community projects. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few of the main reasons why your favourite local casino might be involved in charitable giving.

Marketing and Publicity

It never hurts to show the public that you care. It may seem selfish, but casinos definitely benefit from the good publicity that comes with working on community and charitable programs.

Employee Morale and Engagement

Many employees have charities and community groups that they care deeply about. Even if they don’t have a specific project in mind, employees may get a boost from knowing that some of their work has helped their local community or those in need. These projects help get employees more involved and connected with their casino, their coworkers, and their community.

Tax Benefits

Charitable donations are partially tax deductible in Canada, meaning casinos are spending less than it looks like when they put money back into the local community. Canadian casinos have a massive economic impact, and while some of that comes from paying taxes, casino community projects also play a major role in this effect.

Regulatory Compliance and Relations

While true charitable gaming may only be found in Alberta, casinos in other provinces also have regulatory issues and government relations to consider in their operations.

Some casinos may be required to donate some of their revenues or participate in local events as part of their agreements with government regulators – and even if they don’t, it never hurts to show local pride to get on their good side.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Today, many casinos – along with other businesses – consider corporate social responsibility (or CSR) to be an important part of their operation. Casinos that consider CSR will operate in ways that are positive towards society, their community, and their environment.

Community Relations and Reputation

All businesses know the benefits of having the local community in their corner. Charitable casinos are in the same boat, and can get a great reputational boost in their area by partnering with community groups and charities that service local citizens.

Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Many customers love to know that the businesses they frequent aren’t just there to make money, but also do good in the community. Showing a charitable side can help casinos keep their players loyal, as well as potentially engage them in giving drives and other events.

Building a Sustainable Business Model

a glass globe among leafy plants

Many casino community projects are involved with environmental causes. Canadian casinos are increasingly turning to eco-friendly gambling, and donating to charities that work in that sector can be a big part of creating a more sustainable business.

Great Canadian Entertainment’s PROUD Program

Great Canadian PROUD is the community outreach project on Great Canadian Entertainment and its casinos. The goal of PROUD is to provide both individual and corporate support to not-for-profit organizations and charities within communities where Great Canadian gaming facilities are located.

PROUD awards scholarships, makes charitable donations, and participates in charities hand-selected by employees.

Here’s a look at a few of the many projects PROUD has participated in. These case studies will show how Great Entertainment casino properties have helped their local communities through charitable efforts.

1. Casino Nova Scotia

Each year, Casino Nova Scotia invests C$2.5 million through the Great Canadian PROUD program, supporting thousands of different charitable donations. These efforts continue to this day, recognizing and rewarding Casino Nova Scotia employees who volunteer and support their communities.

There have been several notable efforts from Casino Nova Scotia in recent years. In November 2023, the casino donated a cache of essential and comfort items to the Cape Breton Transition House. That organization provides safe emergency shelter for women and children impacted by domestic violence, along with a number of counselling, crisis and support resources for those individuals.

In addition, Casino Nova Scotia has provided support to many other local communities. One great example is its work with the North Sydney Food Bank, which provides approximately 300 holiday dinners to local needy families each year. In 2023, Casino Nova Scotia Sydney donated C$1,000 to this charity through the PROUD program.

Casino Nova Scotia Halifax has also supported numerous charities through the PROUD initiative, including:

  • Muscular Dystrophy Canada
  • Parker Street
  • Theatre Nova Scotia
  • The Halifax Greek Fest

2. Casino New Brunswick

volunteers pick litter

Casino New Brunswick uses the PROUD program to work with community leaders and organizations in Moncton and beyond who are looking to effect positive change. The casino says it looks to partner with organizations who work locally and provide a direct impact on their community. They also seek out groups that offer a diverse range of programs, and look for partnerships rather than strict sponsorships.

That means showing support by actual involvement instead of writing checks. Casino New Brunswick looks for community partnerships that allow its employees to volunteer their time to make a positive impact locally. The casino also hosts fundraising events that support meaningful community causes.

One of the charitable organizations supported by Casino New Brunswick is the Friends of the Moncton Hospital Foundation. This group helps support Moncton Hospital and looks to inspire the local community to transform healthcare and change lives though efforts like Project Cancer Support, which helps provide complementary support programs to cancer patients and their caregivers and families.

Other projects supported by Casino New Brunswick include:

  • Greater Moncton SPCA
  • Junior Achievement New Brunswick
  • Youth Impact Jeunesse – Coldest Night of the Year
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Canadian Cancer Society

3. Casino Anaimo

For Casino Anaimo, PROUD is more than just community outreach and volunteering. This casino also sees the Great Canadian PROUD as a way to boost its social responsibility efforts, supporting local organizations through time, resources, and talent.

Casino Nanaimo has improved its community relations by creating partnerships with several local organizations. Among them is Nanaimo Search & Rescue, a volunteer organization that provides the people of British Columbia with professional ground search and rescue services that are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Casino Nanaimo hosted a fundraiser beer and burger night for Nanaimo Search & Rescue as part of their efforts under the PROUD program. The 2018 event raised over C$4,500 for the organization, helping them to get closer to the goal of establishing a new building for the volunteer society. It’s another great example of how casinos like this one can help support organizations financially by getting involved with a community group rather than just cutting a check and calling it a day.

4. Hard Rock Casino, Vancouver

Hard Rock Casino Vancouver

The Hard Rock Vancouver may be one of the biggest brand-name casinos in Canada, but that doesn’t mean that it fails to give back to its local community. In fact, its size allows it to work with organizations both big and small in order to fulfil its duty under the PROUD program. Here are just a few of the many charitable organizations that Hard Rock Vancouver has partnered with:

  • Coquitlam Foundation
  • Shooting Stars Foundation
  • Michael Cuccione Foundation
  • Society for Community Development
  • Woody’s Dare to Dream Foundation
  • Eagle Ridge Hospital
  • Operation Red Nose
  • Crossroads Hospice
  • Friends for Life Society
  • SHARE Family and Community Services

One of Hard Rock Vancouver’s most rewarding partnerships is with Variety, a charity devoted to helping children around the world. Variety operates programs that provide life saving medical equipment and services to children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to such essential care, among other charitable efforts.

Hard Rock Vancouver has helped Variety by providing a venue for its annual telethon, which is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the charity. The Annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon is broadcast on Global BC, and has been raising money for children for nearly 60 years.


Gateway Casinos & Entertainment operates more than two dozen casino gaming venues in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. As a result, Gateway finds itself interacting with a wide variety of communities, and has made a point of giving back and showing support for causes that matter in those cities and towns.

Gateway Gives is the programme through which Gateway Casinos partners with local charitable organizations in order to give back to the community. By offering resources, time, and expertise – not to mention its properties – to charities and non-profit groups, it can show that it wants to support the communities that frequent its casinos.

1. Grand Villa Casino

It can be easy to dismiss casino charities as simply giving back a small portion of the money they make from a community. But how often do you see a casino supporting charities even when it isn’t taking in any revenue at all?

That’s what happened at Grand Villa Casino. Closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear when this Burnaby casino would be allowed to reopen by the government of British Columbia. Yet in January 2021, it was able to announce that the GatewayGIVES program had still donated more than C$78,000 to food banks, Christmas bureaus and non-profit organizations.

One of Grand Villa Casino’s largest ongoing partnerships has been with Burnaby Hospital Foundation. In 2019, the casino began supporting the construction of a new Mental Health and Substance Use Zone (MHSU) at Burnaby Hospital.

The three-year commitment supported the MHSU with C$50,000 for patients with complex needs. The MHSU at Burnaby Hospital has been hailed as a more therapeutic approach for patients with mental health and substance abuse issues than a traditional emergency room. It’s also just one of the latest examples of Grand Villa Casino partnering with the Burnaby Hospital Foundation, which says it has enjoyed a “long and fruitful” partnership with Gateway Casinos.

2. Casino Rama

Casino Rama sign

Located north of Toronto, Casino Rama has made a point of working with community organizations across Simcoe County in Ontario. It has done so with its own personalized program known as Casino Rama Cares, which supports projects and events that support education, health and wellness, and the needs of local First Nation Peoples.

Since opening in 1996, Casino Rama has contributed millions of dollars to various charitable organizations. Perhaps more importantly, employees of the casino have donated hundreds of volunteer hours to these groups to help them reach their goals.

For instance, Casino Rama has been a major sponsor of the Mariposa Folk Festival. This festival looks to promote a diverse range of artists and performers each year, taking a progressive approach that highlights the newest trends in artistic expression. The inclusive festival typically takes place each July in Orillia, and includes 11 stages of artistry in a camping-friendly environment.

Other organizations that Casino Rama has partnered with include:

  • RVH Foundation
  • Gilda’s Club
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Canadian Cancer Society
  • The Sharing Place Food Bank
  • Bowls for Beds
  • Imagine Native

Mechet Charities Limited and The River Cree Resort

volunteers pack food donations

Mechet Charities Limited is the organization that holds the charitable casinos license for the Enoch Cree Nation in Alberta. That includes the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, one of the most popular resorts in the Edmonton area.

Like other Alberta charitable casino operators, Mechet Charities and River Cree don’t get to keep all of their own revenues. About 35% of their table games revenue goes to charity, as does 15% of their slots proceeds. An additional 70% of slots revenue goes to the Alberta Lottery Fund, which supports a variety of initiatives, most notably the First Nations Development Fund. This is just one of the ways in which First Nations casinos work to support indigenous communities across Canada.

But the River Cree Resort doesn’t just provide community support through its charitable gaming license. The casino also supports and hosts a variety of different events for charitable and non-profit causes. For instance, they are scheduled to host the 11th edition of Racing for a Cure in June 2024.

Over two days, visitors can experience a VIP Driver’s Experience as well as other events. All of the money raised goes to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, which provides access to some of the most advanced treatments for health issues that impact children in Canada. In the last 10 years, Racing for a Cure has raised C$4 million for this important charity.

Gambling at Charitable Casinos


If you want to know that your casino play is giving something back to the community, you can try doing your gambling at a casino that has a strong plan in place for its community and charitable contributions. There are tons of casino community projects across Canada, and there’s no better feeling than knowing your gambling dollars are supporting a good cause.

If you’re looking to plan a trip to one of these charitable casinos, you should check out our casino road trip guide, where we show you the best way to plan ahead to hit up some of Canada’s best resorts. Many of the venues we highlighted above would make great stops on a gambling trip across the country!

If you want to get some practice in before you play for real at a live casino, you can test your skills online. Check out some of our top welcome bonuses to get a head start at one of our recommended online casinos for Canadians.