Casino News

Great Canadian Gaming’s Stock Halted, Pending OLG’s Gambling Takeover Decision

The Canadian media Globe and Mail reported that Great Canadian Gaming’s shares are temporarily halted on the stock market, waiting for Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) to announce the winning bidders, who are to sign a turnover deal and take the control over the OLG-owned casinos and slot machines in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is one of the biggest gambling operators in Canada, haveing 19 properties in Canada and the USA. Thus, aiming to further expand its business, the company decided to participate in the OLG-organized bidding process for the privatization of the gaming sector in the Greater Toronto Area.

As a result, the company’s stock prices started to sharply increase last week and on Thursday the company’s price reached $25.43 per share (or 5% growth), almost a record level for the company.

Following the market closure on Thursday, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) announced its decision to halt the company’s stock trading. Friday’s opening of the market did not change the situation for the company, which still remained suspended in the trading. Specialists admitted that this is a long halt, awaiting a news announcement.

It would be interesting to remind that only 2 years ago, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation signed a similar privatization deal with OLG, buying casino properties and slots for $46.9-million.

Only a few days left till OLG points out the names of the winning casino operators to take over the OLG-owned casinos and slot machines in the GTA. The winners will sign a 22-year-long agreement with OLG, which will allow them to start renovating the already existing 3 casino facilities. Furthermore, it was noted that the winners will be allowed to open a fourth casino facility in the area, supposing they meet certain legal requirements.

The privatization deal stimulated the appetite of many operators to participate in the bidding, encouraged by the lucrative perspective of reaping “big money”. The winners were competing to take the control over the gambling operations at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack, Ajax Downs and the Great Blue Heron Casino in Port Perry.

At the end of July this year, the Globe and Mail learned the names of 3 of the companies, which are in the final round of the contract bidding process, including Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, American-based Caesars Entertainment and Malaysian Genting Group. The media also reported that Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and Great Canadian Gaming also participate in the bidding.

OLG started the process of privatization, driven by the idea to give a boost to the development of the worn-out gambling industry in the area. The company will reserve its rights to monitor the company-winners, who will take over the OLG-owned casino facilities and slot machines. Prior to the privatization process, OLG appeased any concerns, promising that the local governments will continue to receive their slice of the “revenue” pie.