OLG signs 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement with Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited for North Gaming Bundle Assets

TORONTO, May 30, 2017 /CNW/ - Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has signed a 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement (COSA) with Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited (Gateway). Under the agreement, Gateway takes over day-to-day operations and the assets of the North Gaming Bundle, effective today.  

The North Gaming Bundle includes:

  • OLG Casino Thunder Bay
  • OLG Casino Sault Ste. Marie
  • OLG Slots at Sudbury Downs

As the service provider for the North Gaming Bundle, Gateway will have the opportunity to build two new gaming and entertainment facilities, one in the N4 Gaming Zone (Kenora area) and one in the N5 Gaming Zone (North Bay). The proposed new facilities will be subject to required approvals.

On December 13, 2016, OLG announced it had selected Gateway as the service provider for the North Gaming Bundle. Since then, OLG and Gateway have been working towards concluding a Transition and Asset Purchase Agreement and entering into the COSA.

OLG has worked with Gateway to help ensure that transferring employees have a smooth and seamless transition. This includes the requirement for Gateway to retain transferring employees for a period of no less than 12 months in their current position and geographic location, and to provide eligible employees with benefits and a registered pension plan.

At more than $2.2 billion annually, OLG provides the Ontario government with its largest source of non-tax revenue. Modernization helps OLG provide more money to Ontario for key government services.

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 three properties and two new planned builds to the portfolio when fully implemented.

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.

OLG is the Ontario government agency that delivers gaming entertainment in a socially responsible manner. OLG conducts and manages gaming facilities, the sale of province-wide lottery games, PlayOLG Internet gaming, the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres and is helping to build a more sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $44 billion to the Province and the people of Ontario. These payments to the province support the operation of hospitals, amateur sport through the Quest for Gold program, local and provincial charities and problem gambling prevention, treatment and research. 

All for Here - 100 per cent of OLG's proceeds are invested in Ontario
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Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, Canada's Largest and Most Diversified Gaming and Entertainment Company, Completes Successful Transition in Northern Ontario 

Gateway Announces Plans to Invest $100 Million in Northern Ontario
Communities to Improve Customer Experience

SAULT STE MARIE, ON, May 30, 2017 - 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 North Gaming Bundle. Gateway will take over the day-to-day operations effective today. With the OLG transition complete in the North and Southwest Gaming Bundles, Gateway will now focus on plans to invest in these communities to dramatically improve customer experience. 

"The successful transition of the properties in the North is another exciting and important milestone for Gateway.  Our portfolio of properties has now grown to 26 with over 6,100 employees working on our team across the country," said Tony Santo, Gateway's Chief Executive Officer.  "We are very proud to officially welcome the OLG colleagues in the North 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 Northern Ontario with a planned investment of over $100 Million to revitalize and enhance the gaming and entertainment landscape in the North."

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 North Gaming Bundle is fully 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 $300 Million in Northern and Southwestern Ontario communities to introduce these signature brands.

In December 2016, Gateway was selected by OLG as the successful service provider in the North and Southwest Gaming Bundles.  The North Gaming Bundle 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 Southwest Gaming Bundle, which transitioned to Gateway on May 9th, 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 Ontario acquisitions are expected to be immediately accretive to Gateway's top-line growth, EBITDA margin and full year earnings.

A customer celebration will be held on June 22nd, 2017 at all Gateway's Ontario sites in the North and Southwest.  The daylong celebration will include new and exciting promotions, 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 Ontario, Gateway has over 6,100 employees and operates 26 gaming properties with 286 tables, over 9,800 slots, 57 restaurants and bars and 272 hotel rooms. As the selected service provider in Northern Ontario, Gateway will undertake two new planned builds in North Bay and Kenora.  Gateway is undertaking an ambitious growth strategy to dramatically improve the customer experience and attract new customers. This includes the development of proprietary casino and 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.

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 

SOURCE OLG

For further information: OLG MEDIA RELATIONS, 1-888-946-6716

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