The $200 million investment by the Burnaby-based Gateway, which is Canada’s largest casino and entertainment company, lays the groundwork for a full-scale casino in London, in southwestern Ontario, according to Globalnews.ca.
The news agency reports that Carrie Kormos, Senior Vice President Marketing and Communications at Gateway, told AM980 that a major gaming and entertainment casino property is being planned by the company. However, she said, “we are still working on our plans and it is important to be respectful of the approval process that we have with our OLG partners, with government, and with other folks.”
The 20-year casino operation and services agreement (COSA) Gateway signed with the OLG is for ownership of the Southwest Gaming Bundle’s business and assets, effective Tuesday. According to the news agency, included in the bundle is a casino in Point Edward, and slots in Hanover, Woodstock, Dresden, Clinton, and London.
A major commitment to the city of London is included in Gateway’s $200 million investment and announcements are expected next month. Kormos reportedly said, “While we’ll have more to say in the coming weeks and next month, we’re planning a major gaming and entertainment property in London that will be a significant investment and in fact our largest development in Ontario.”
She went on to say, “We’re still working through our plan, but if you look at what Gateway has built in other provinces, we really have a track record of creating full-service entertainment destinations that involve restaurants, spectacular gaming floors, hotels, other non-gaming amenities. We’re working through those plans right now with the OLG,” according to the report.
Gateway says that the acquisition isn’t expected to cause a loss of jobs and future investments in the city located just north of Lake Erie and the U.S. border has the potential to add as many as 1,000 jobs in addition to any resulting construction jobs. “In addition to the jobs that will come at the property with the new development, we’ll also be having our head office for Ontario based here in London,” the news agency reports.
Koromos added that Gateway’s signature brands, which include Cascades, Playtime, Grand Villa, and Starlight, will be added at all of its Ontario properties over the next couple of years.
Gateway’s latest endeavor, Cascades Casino Penticton, recently celebrated its grand opening in Penticton, British Columbia. The $25 million investment is one of 23 gaming entertainment properties Gateway operates in British Columbia, Edmonton, and Southwestern Ontario, with 248 tables, over 8,400 slots, 54 restaurants and bars and 272 hotel rooms. The company’s largest presence is in British Columbia and it has over 5,200 employees.