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Central Gaming Bundle To Gateway

Published: March 16, 2018 8:30 am ET

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Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has selected Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited (Gateway) as the service provider for the Central Gaming Bundle, following a competitive procurement process.

The Central Gaming Bundle includes OLG Slots at Georgian Downs and Casino Rama Resort. Located on Rama First Nation’s lands, Casino Rama Resort is the first resort casino to be awarded through the OLG modernization process. Gateway was previously awarded the North and Southwest Gaming Bundles, which include nine existing properties and planned new builds in Kenora and North Bay. With the Central Gaming Bundle, Gateway will now operate a gaming market area stretching from Kenora in Northwestern Ontario through to Innisfil in Central Ontario, along with six properties in Southwest Ontario.

Gateway will also have the opportunity to build a new gaming and entertainment facility in Wasaga Beach or Collingwood. The proposed new facility will be subject to all necessary approvals.

“Selecting Gateway is the latest step OLG is taking as we continue to bring new jobs and economic development to communities across Ontario,” said Stephen Rigby, OLG’s President and CEO. “The investments Gateway will make in the central region will enhance the gaming experience for customers and help OLG increase its contribution to the Province of Ontario.”

“We are very pleased to once again partner with OLG as the service provider in the Central Gaming Bundle. Gateway has become the standard for gaming and hospitality in Canada and the award of this bundle allows us to build on that leadership position,” said Tony Santo, Gateway’s Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to working with our new team members at Casino Rama Resort and OLG Slots at Georgian Downs.”

To OLG, the integrity of its procurement process is of the utmost importance.

In order to ensure an open and transparent process for all proponents, OLG has engaged the services of an impartial Fairness Monitor to advise throughout the process and provide oversight on the fairness of the procurement.

While Gateway will be responsible for the day-to-day gaming operations in the bundle, OLG will continue to:

  • Provide strategic oversight of the Central Gaming Bundle and Ontario gaming marketplace—including approvals related to material operational changes

  • Conduct and manage gaming in the bundle

  • Require compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards

  • Be the owner of key player information

  • Require service providers to uphold the high standards of OLG’s Responsible Gambling program, including the self-exclusion program

  • Make Municipality Contribution Agreement payments to host communities.

Gateway will be required to retain employees for a period of no less than 12 months in their current position and geographic location. Unionized employees will transfer to the service provider under the terms and conditions of their current collective agreement. Gateway will also be required to provide eligible employees with benefits and a registered pension plan.

OLG has entered into a Transition and Asset Purchase Agreement with Gateway for the Central Gaming Bundle, which sets out the customary closing conditions to be satisfied for OLG and Gateway to enter into a Casino Operating and Services Agreement (COSA).

OLG expects that the service provider will take over day-to-day operations in summer 2018.

With 25 properties in British Columbia, Edmonton and Ontario – up from 12 in 2015 – Gateway has significantly expanded its footprint and portfolio while maintaining a focus on responsible gambling. A multi-pronged growth strategy has seen Gateway diversify and expand its product offering, including developing proprietary casino and restaurant brands, which has dramatically improved the gaming customer experience while generating new customer segments among non-gamers in a responsible way.

“Our successful growth strategy has seen us make significant investments in the communities where we operate,” said Gabriel de Alba, Gateway’s Executive Chairman. “The continued expansion and growth in Ontario will allow us to invest in these properties, develop dynamic gaming and hospitality offerings and create more jobs across the province. This truly is another exciting milestone in the continued evolution of Gateway.”

In addition to growth through the Central Gaming Bundle, Gateway’s current strategic opportunities include a $57 million rebrand and renovation of the Palace Casino at the West Edmonton Mall to Starlight Casino Edmonton, a proposed $70 million local entertainment destination in Delta, renovations and rebranding at Kelowna, Chances Campbell River and Chances Courtenay, and the first Gateway redevelopment in Point Edward, Ontario, to be rebranded Starlight Casino Point Edward.

(with files from Gateway and OLG)

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