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Central Gaming Bundle Deal Finalized

Published: July 25, 2018 11:39 am ET

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Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited recently announced that it has signed a 23-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Gateway has purchased the assets of the Central Gaming Bundle and entered into leases for Casino Rama Resort on Chippewas of Rama First Nation's Lands and OLG Slots at Georgian Downs in Innisfil.

Gateway took over the day-to-day operations of the sites effective July 18, 2018. Via release, Gateway stated that its expansion into central Ontario represents the next exciting chapter in the company’s successful growth strategy, and also allows for the construction of a planned new casino in the Wasaga Beach/Collingwood area.

"I am very proud to invite our colleagues at Casino Rama Resort and OLG Slots at Georgian Downs to officially join the Gateway team,” said Tony Santo, Gateway's chief executive officer. “We thank the OLG for their support and hard work throughout the transition process and we look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with them."

Through Gateway's growth strategy that is focused on dramatically improving customer experiences, Gateway has already begun redeveloping and investing in new properties across Ontario. In Point Edward, $26 million is being invested to transform the property into Starlight Casino Point Edward featuring the Buffet and Ontario's first Match Eatery & Public House, which opened for business to a full house on July 5 with a ribbon-cutting that also offered the opportunity to meet retired NHL stars Dino Ciccarelli and Wendel Clark. Earlier in July, Gateway broke ground on its new $36 million Cascades Casino in Chatham, which will create up to 200 new jobs and will feature the Buffet and Match Eatery & Public House, as well.

"Gateway is reinvesting in local communities and creating thousands of new jobs by introducing our signature gaming and restaurant brands throughout western Canada and Ontario,” said Gabriel de Alba, Gateway's chairman. “The acquisition of the Central Gaming Bundle is the next milestone in Gateway's growth strategy and significantly enhances our customer offerings in Ontario with the addition of a casino resort property that can be leveraged throughout our Ontario portfolio."

Casino Rama Resort and OLG Slots at Georgian Downs fit well into the Gateway portfolio and will contribute to Gateway's successful growth strategy enhancing the properties and offering customers a wide range of entertainment, dining and gaming experiences. With strong brand equity and awareness in the Ontario market, Casino Rama Resort is a large-scale resort property featuring a 5,000-seat entertainment centre, a 289-room hotel, eight restaurant and dining options, VIP gaming and a large, dynamic gaming floor. Through Gateway's loyalty program, My Club Rewards, Gateway customers across Ontario will have the opportunity to also enjoy the amenities of Casino Rama Resort. OLG Slots at Georgian Downs is a similarly well-known and popular venue featuring the latest slots and casual dining.

Gateway was previously awarded the Southwest and Northern Gaming Bundles in May 2017. In Ontario, Gateway will now operate 11 properties with 4,150 employees. Through the awarding of the bundles in Ontario, Gateway will also undertake three planned new builds in North Bay and Kenora in the North Gaming Bundle and Wasaga Beach/Collingwood area in the Central Bundle.

A commitment to responsible gambling is integral to how Gateway operates. All Gateway properties in British Columbia and Ontario hold RG Check accreditation. Together with OLG and other government partners, Gateway will continue to implement responsible gambling initiatives at all properties across Canada.

(With files from Gateway Casinos & Entertainment)

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