Industry Reports

Great Canadian Takes Over Day-to-Day Operations at 4 OLG Gambling Facilities

One of Canada’s largest gambling companies, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, announced on May 1 that together with its partner, Clairevest Group, it had completed the CA$134 million acquisition of OLG’s West GTA Bundle. As part of the deal, the private service provider is now responsible for four gambling facilities, which have been renamed to Elements Casino Brantford, Elements Casino Flamboro, Elements Casino Grand River and Elements Casino Mohawk.

Back in December, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) selected a large consortium as the service provider for its West Greater Toronto Area (West GTA) Bundle. The consortium, called Ontario Gaming West GTA Limited Partnership, is a partnership between Great Canadian and Clairevest, in which Great Canadian owns the majority of assets (55%). The casino operating and services agreement at a purchase price of approximately CA$134 million allows the partnership to operate four OLG-owned casinos for a period of at least 20 years. Great Canadian, which is responsible for 28 gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Washington State, is taking over the day-to-day operations at these facilities on behalf of the partnership.

Meanwhile, OLG continues to provide oversight, manage players’ information, require compliance with regulations and make payments to host communities. Cities and host communities enter into Municipality Contribution Agreements with the OLG, according to which municipalities receive a portion of gaming revenues from the casinos and other gambling sites on their grounds. For instance, the City of Toronto hosts the largest of all 14 slots parlours located at racetracks in Ontario, the OLG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack. In 2017, the city received $16.2 million in hosting fees from OLG, while since 2000, the payments have reached $271 million.

As part of the COSA agreement between OLG and the private partnership, employees at the four casinos are transferring to the new service provider who is required to keep them in their current position and geographic location for no less than 12 months.

Rebranding for 4 Casinos in the West GTA

The West GTA Bundle includes the following gambling facilities – OLG Casino Brantford, OLG Slots at Mohawk Racetrack, OLG Slots at Flamboro Downs, and OLG Slots at Grand River Raceway. Effective May 1, they are renamed to Elements Casino Brantford, Elements Casino Mohawk, Elements Casino Flamboro, and Elements Casino Grand River. The acquisition of the four venues is, in fact, part of OLG’s modernization process that aims at providing customers with improved and diversified gaming options while providing communities with more funds from hosting fees. According to OLG, the service provider’s capital investment of $134 million would lead to the creation of 1,650 new jobs.

The four locations offer more than 2,500 slot machines, around 60 table games, and a wide variety of electronic table games. They employ more than 1,400 people and official data shows that in the fiscal 2016/2017 year, they generated approximately $460 million in gross gaming revenue. Now, with the completion of the COSA agreement, Great Canadian through the partnership with the Clairevest Group will have the exclusive right to renovate and modernize the four casinos. It would also be responsible for any potential gaming expansion approved by host municipalities in the next 20 years.