The guessing game is finally over. The Ontario Gaming and Lottery Corporation (OLG) has named the new operator for its North and Southwest Ontario casinos. As most who followed the story could have predicted, the winning bid came from Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited.
It was a long and grueling process that took more than three years to accomplish as numerous operators competed for the title. But in the end, experience and expertise won out as OLG awarded Gateway control of nine of its existing Ontario casinos, as well as the rights to build two new casinos.
OLG Announces Gateway Casinos
OLG President and CEO, Stephen Rigby was excited to finally reveal the winner of the province’s casino bundles. “Today’s announcement of a service provider for the North and Southwest Gaming Bundles is a significant step forward in OLG’s modernization,” he said.
“The investments Gateway will make in the bundles will help ensure the best possible gaming experience for customers,” Rigby continued. In the meantime, he assured communities that OLG will continue “to deliver on its commitment to the people and Province of Ontario.”
Gateway Casinos CEO Tony Santo was equally pleased to comment on the massive new casinos contract with OLG. “We are very excited and pleased to partner with OLG in the modernization of Ontario’s gaming industry,” said Santo.
“In northern and southwestern Ontario, Gateway will work with host communities to bring our unique brands and experiences to customers,” he said. “On behalf of the 4,000 Gateway employees, we look forward to welcoming OLG colleagues to our team.”
Gateway’s Executive Chairman, Gabriel de Alba, chimed in as well. “In 2017, Gateway will celebrate 25 years in the business of gaming and entertainment. Expanding into Ontario is truly an exciting and significant way to mark this important milestone in our company’s history.”
Gateway Casinos of Canada
Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is a vast, trusted name in gaming throughout Canada. Established in 1992, the company already operates a dozen gaming facilities across Alberta and British Columbia, including Cascades Casino in Langley City and the Grand Villa Casino in Edmonton.
The operator will now take over day to day operations of gambling activities at 9 existing Ontario casinos, as well as the impending construction of two new casinos in the northern region. Current Ontario casinos transitioning to the Gateway management system include:
Ontario North Bundle
- OLG Casino Sault Ste. Marie
- OLG Slots at Sudbury Downs
- OLG Casino Thunder Bay
Ontario Southwest Bundle
- OLG Slots at Clinton Raceway
- OLG Slots at Dresden Raceway
- OLG Slots at Hanover Raceway
- OLG Casino Point Edward
- OLG Slots at Western Fair District
- OLG Slots at Woodstock Raceway
The two new casinos are slated for future construction in N4 and N5 gaming zones, which would place them in the areas of Kenora and North Bay. The OLG is still ironing out the details of those proposals, and nothing is set in stone yet, but negotiations are progressing relatively smoothly.
While Gateway assumes all day to day operations of its new casinos, OLG will still be responsible for maintaining backend management of all gaming mechanisms within the bundles. OLG will also continue to control player data, distribution of funds to host communities, and oversight of regulatory compliance.