After months of anticipation, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) have selected a Burnaby, B.C.-based Gateway Casinos & Entertainment to take over provincial gambling operations in Northern Ontario and southwestern Ontario.
An asset purchase agreement is in place, but according to a Dec. 13 news release, Gateway is subject to “customary closing conditions” before a 20-year agreement is signed between OLG and the West Coast gaming company to operate casinos in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.
If it meets the "closing conditions" set by OLG, Gateway will take over day-to-day operations at the nine gambling sites.
The takeover is expected by next spring.
As the named service provider for Northern Ontario, Gateway wins the right to build new casinos in Kenora and North Bay.
“Our Ontario expansion marks an important next step in Gateway’s growth strategy – a strategy that has seen us successfully rebuild properties, develop proprietary brands and grow into new markets,” said Gabriel de Alba, Gateway’s executive chairman in a Dec. 13 release.
“We have made significant investments in jobs and capital in the communities where we operate in B.C. and Alberta. In Ontario, we look forward to continuing to invest, build and grow.”
The 25-year-old gaming company has more than 4,000 employees working at 18 sites in Western Canada.
The expansion into Ontario brings 12 new sites into the fold; nine existing and two planned builds.
Gateway is owned by Catalyst Capital Group Inc., a private equity investment firm with more than $6 billion in assets.