Gateway Announces Plans to Invest $100 Million in Northern Ontario Communities to Improve Customer Experience
SAULT STE MARIE, 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.
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment:
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Catalyst Capital Group: