Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Becomes Canada's Largest and Most Diversified Gaming and Entertainment Company with Ontario Expansion

Successful Transition Complete in Southwestern Ontario; Gateway Announces Plans to Invest $200 Million in Southwestern Ontario to Improve Customer Experience

LONDON, ON, May 9, 2017 /CNW/ - Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited ("Gateway") has signed a 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement (COSA) with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation ("OLG") and has purchased the business and assets of the Southwest Gaming Bundle. Gateway will take over the day-to-day operations effective today. The expansion into Ontario represents the next exciting chapter in Gateway's successful growth strategy making Gateway Canada's largest and most diversified gaming company.  

"Today is a very exciting day and an important milestone for Gateway as we expand our footprint into Ontario with the completion of the transition process in Southwestern Ontario.  We thank the OLG for the hard work throughout the transition process and we look forward to our long-term partnership," said Tony Santo, Gateway's Chief Executive Officer.  "On behalf of our 4,200 employees in Western Canada, we are very proud to officially welcome the OLG colleagues to our Gateway team."  

Gabriel de Alba, Gateway's Executive Chairman, said, "Gateway's growth strategy and focus on a superior customer experience revolves around investing in the company's unique gaming properties and creating a broader attraction across numerous demographics.  Our success has resulted in significant job creation across the communities where we operate in Western Canada.  We are bringing this same approach to Southwestern Ontario with a planned investment of over $200 Million to revitalize and enhance the gaming and entertainment landscape."

In December 2016, Gateway was selected by OLG as the successful service provider in the Southwest and North Gaming Bundles.  The Southwest Gaming Bundle includes a casino in Point Edward and slots in Woodstock (at Woodstock Raceway), London (at the Western Fair District), Clinton (at Clinton Raceway), Dresden (at Dresden Raceway) and Hanover (at Hanover Raceway).  The North Gaming Bundle will transition to Gateway in late May 2017 and includes casinos in Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, slots in Sudbury (at Sudbury Downs) and two planned casino builds in Kenora and North Bay.  The Ontario acquisitions are expected to be immediately accretive to Gateway's top-line growth, EBITDA margin and full year earnings.

The expansion into Ontario is the next step in the continued evolution of Gateway. In 2010, The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. ("Catalyst"), Gateway's ownership group, took Gateway and its 9 properties under management to rebuild and restructure the company. A focus on superior customer experience and measured growth has seen Gateway's portfolio expand to 28 properties once the Southwest and North Gaming Bundles are fully transitioned and developed.

Central to Gateway's success has been the development of signature casino and restaurant brands that have dramatically improved the gaming customer experience while generating important new customer segments.  With transition complete, Gateway will now focus on plans to invest over $200 Million in Southwestern Ontario communities to introduce the proprietary casino and restaurant signature brands.

A customer celebration will be held on June 22nd, 2017 at all Gateway's Ontario sites in the Southwest and North.  The daylong celebration will include new and exciting promotions and prizes, live entertainment, Gateway merchandise giveaways and delicious food and drink specials.  To learn more about the celebration on June 22nd please visit www.gatewaycasinos.com.  

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.

About Gateway Casinos & Entertainment
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited ("Gateway") is the largest and most diversified gaming company in Canada. Operating in British Columbia, Edmonton and Southwestern Ontario, Gateway has over 5,200 employees and operates 23 gaming properties with 248 tables, over 8,400 slots, 54 restaurants and bars and 272 hotel rooms. As the selected service provider in Northern Ontario, Gateway will add an additional three properties and two new planned builds to the portfolio when fully transitioned and developed.  Gateway is undertaking an ambitious growth strategy to dramatically improve the customer experience and attract new customers. This includes the development of proprietary food and beverage brands like Match Eatery & Public House and Atlas Steak + Fish.  This year Gateway is celebrating 25 years in the business of gaming and entertainment in Canada. Further information is available at www.gatewaycasinos.com.

About The Catalyst Capital Group
The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. ("Catalyst"), a private equity investment firm with more than $6 billion in assets under management founded in 2002, is a leader in operationally focused turnaround investing. The firm's mandate is to manufacture risk adjusted returns, in keeping with its philosophy of "we buy what we can build." Catalyst's Guiding Principles of investment excellence through operational involvement, superior analytics, attention to detail, intellectual curiosity, team and reputation are key to the firm's success. The Catalyst team collectively possesses more than 110 years of extensive experience in restructuring, credit markets and merchant and investment banking in Canada, the United States, Latin America and Europe.

SOURCE Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited

For further information: Media Contact: Gateway Casinos & Entertainment: Carrie Kormos, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, +1.416.456.5606, ckormos@gatewaycasinos.com; Catalyst Capital Group: Dan Gagnier, +1.646.569.5897, Gagnier Communications, dg@gagnierfc.com

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