GCG pins focus on Canada, sells Washington casinos for $56 million.
Established in 1982, Great Canadian Gaming (GCG) has long since strived to be just that – Canada’s greatest gaming corporation. More than two dozen casinos later, GCG accomplished that goal long ago, now standing tall alongside Gateway Casinos & Entertainment as the only dominant commercial casino competitors in the Great White North.
What many visitors of their multitude of properties across British Columbia, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces may not realize is that, despite its region-bearing name, Great Canadian Gaming also operates a few gambling establishments to the south. That’s because the company launched those operations under a subsidiary branch, aptly titled Great American Casinos (GAC).
After shutting down one of those operations less than two years ago, the Coquitlam-based corporation has decided its American investments are no longer worthy of pursuit. The latest financial headlines indicate GCG is divesting of its remaining casinos in Washington.
GCG to Sell Washington Casinos for $56 Million
In late 2017, the parent company decided GAC needed to do a little house cleaning. They shuttered the windows and doors on Great American Casino Des Moines, leaving behind just three properties in the US state; one in Everett, another in Lakewood, and a third in Tukwila.
Less than 24 months later, those remaining three properties have apparently been deemed expendable. GCG has entered into an agreement to sell its Great American Casinos subsidiary, including the trio of properties in Everett, Lakewood and Tukwila, to the Las Vegas company, Maverick Casinos. The two negotiated a price tag for the package deal of US-$56 million.
With the sale all-but concluded, Great Canadian Gaming will no longer be in possession of any casinos on US soil, or any other nation besides its home country of Canada. The perception being exuded by GCG is that the company intends to focus one hundred per cent on its home-grown casinos.
“The sale of Great American will allow Great Canadian to focus on its core growth markets as we continue to execute on our operational and development plans for 2019 and beyond,” explained GCG Chief Executive Rod Baker in a statement. “The divestiture is in line with the Company’s stated strategic goals and demonstrates our commitment to exploring opportunities to create shareholder value.”
The sale won’t be finalized until as late as Q3 2019, following the obligatory examination and approval of customary closing conditions set forth by the Washington State Gambling Commission.
Out With the American, In With the Ontarian
A key focus for GCG at the moment is its recently acquired gaming bundles in Ontario. Not too long ago, the company was handed the operational rights to the province’s East, GTA and West GTA gambling bundles. These packages include numerous facilities, as well as the rights to built a new casino in Pickering. The intended trade-off was the closure of the OLG Slots at Ajax Downs.
Working closely with the provincial government in an effort to modernize and save the Ajax location, and keep several hundred staff members off the unemployment lines, GCG negotiated a deal to keep Ajax Casino up and running, and still have the option to build in Pickering. None were more pleased by the news than the casino’s president, Justin Picov.
“I would like to thank the Government of Ontario , OLG, Great Canadian Gaming, and the loyal customers of Casino Ajax for their continued support and constructive work to finalize this agreement,” said Picov. “This is a good day for horse racing, and we’re excited to contribute to meaningful local employment opportunities in Ontario.”