The last days of 2016 were special ones for Gateway Casinos & Entertainment as the casino operator became the chosen one to oversee operation of the Southwest Gaming Bundle along with the North Gaming Bundle. This diversification of the gaming field across Ontario aims to elevate the player experience across the gaming locations previously overseen solely by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Gateway Casinos has been able to see results in the past months, as the overall tally for this expansion reaches CA$200 million.
The renovation is still in progress. The Southwest Gaming Bundle includes some of the most emblematic locations in the region and many of them are subjected to close monitoring and discussion. The casino operator is willing to upgrade the experience on site and offer its casino patrons something new and exciting, as this was the very reason for the modernization and expansion. OLG Casino Point Edward is one of the locations that went through a CA$26-million rebranding and complete renovation lasting for almost a year.
Casino Expansion across Southwest Ontario
Now the venue in Point Edward is called Starlight Casino Point Edward and it welcomed its first casino patrons at the end of November 2018. It is able to provide 340 individuals with permanent employment across 75,000 square feet, featuring some 25 live tables, as well as 494 slot machines. The community was also able to benefit from the regular allocations at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2018-2019. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation allocated some CA$616,000 to the community as compensation for the casino operation.
In the meantime, London plans for development took a different turn, as Gateway Casinos is no longer interested in overseeing operation at OLG Slots at Western Fair District. Instead, the casino operator will build its very own casino venue on Wonderland Road and benefit from the independent location and the permit for operation in the area. This change of plans came after long conversations that failed to reach mutually beneficial conditions for both London and the casino operator.
Now Mayor Ed Holder is willing to speed up the process and make up for the time by collaborating actively with Gateway Casinos. The 20-year arrangement is also giving the casino operator the permission to manage OLG Slots at Clinton Raceway and rebranding and improvements are on the way. Central Huron recently received its CA$161,000 payment for the operation of the slots venue, rounding up the figure to CA$11.1 million bagged since 2000. Dresden Raceway is another location that stirred the pot towards the end of 2018.
Years after Greenlgihting Renovation Continues
Dresden Raceway featured OLG Slots that were supposed to be overseen by Gateway Casinos over the next 20 years, but this change of plans became inevitable. Dresden Agricultural Society overseeing operation of the race course decided it wants to improve its horse racing offerings, instead of managing the slots venue with 148 machines.
This meant that the casino operator would have to make better use of the license for operation by constructing a casino venue in Chatham. The new venue is going to feature more than 300 slot machines and 10 table games. Both Dresden and Point Edward venues were subjected to layoffs after the modernization, as well as operation hours reduction. All casino employees would have the chance to join the future casino staff.
Hanover is also bracing for a brand new casino venue that could launch operation as soon as March 19. The CA$18-million expansion project is called Playtime Casino Hanover and it would have some 300 slot devices in addition to eight table games sprinkled across the 32,672-square-foot space. Woodstock Raceway also features an OLG Slots location that is overseen by Gateway Casinos and preparing for renovation.