On Monday, Canadian gambling and entertainment operator Gateway Casinos & Entertainment has unveiled the first details of its proposed full-fledged casino at the Western Fair District, London. The project consists of a unique combination of gambling and non-gambling activities and it carries an estimated price tag of $142 million. The project is to be implemented in two phases. Supposing that everything goes according to schedule, casino representatives believe that each phase is to take a year to be finalized.
This Monday, Keith Andrews, Gateway’s senior vice-president and managing director in Ontario unveiled more details regarding the casino project at fairgrounds. It became clear that the resort will feature a casino and multiple other non-gambling amenities. The first phase of the project is to include the construction of the casino floor, classy restaurants, and bars. The construction of the 125-room hotel is part of the second phase of the project. Mr. Andrews took the opportunity to announce that the opening of the casino complex is to create 700 new job opportunities.
The meeting was attended by architects and all city officials except Councillor Josh Morgan. Gateway’s officials were on hand to answer all questions regarding the project. Councillor Harold Usher was the first to file a question. His question was directed to the capacity of the parking space. Gateway’s representatives explained that the entertainment complex and the parking are to spread over 12 acres of land, but there is no exact information regarding the number of parking lots. Mr. Andrews elaborated that Gateway may lease space for more parking.
Ward 4 Coun. Jesse Helmer raised one very important question, which has turned into a primary concern in all the countries with regulated gambling industry – responsible gambling. The casino officials explained that Gateway developed responsible gambling strategies. Mr. Andrews explained that the casino operator is fully committed to protect its players and provide them with the best possible gambling experience. He added that the operator invests heavily in training the casino staff, as this is also a key factor in the company’s responsible gambling campaign.
Gateway Assumes Control Over North and Southwest Gaming Bundles
The casino operator was appointed by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) to take over the day-to-day operations of both North and Southwest Gaming Bundles. To make it clearer, some time ago, OLG officially announced its decision to privatize its gambling venues and entrust these in the hands of private operators.
The move came after OLG realized that the province’s gambling industry is in need of modernization in order to rake in more revenues to support the local economy. Here, it is important to mention that for years, the cash-strapped province suffered financial deficit and a source of fresh money was of crucial importance.
Currently, the Canadian operator is in charge of North and Southwest Gaming Bundles, which extends the company’s portfolio significantly with 29 properties and brings its reach beyond familiar turf. Gateway inked a 20-year casino operating and services agreement with OLG. Currently, Gateway operates all the properties included in the two Gaming Bundles under a lease.
OLG Slots at Western Fair District in London are part of the Southwest Gaming Bundle. The casino operator pays $6.2 million a year to operate the slot-only venue at fairgrounds, but it is looking to renegotiate the terms of the deal and lower the lease payments.