Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (NYSE:BBU)(TSX:BBU.UN) and Great Canadian Gaming Corp. (TSX:GC) have been chosen by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) to operate its casinos in the Greater Toronto Area (the “GTA Bundle”), according to the press release.
The deal will see Brookfield and Great Canadian acquire the whole of gaming assets in the GTA Bundle including OLG’s three facilities; OLG Slots at Woodbine, Great Blue Heron Casino located in the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and OLG Slots at Ajax Downs. Together, the three generated over $1 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2016. All combined they have more than 60 table games, 4,000 slot machines and employ upwards of 2,200.
The two companies will also have exclusive rights to operate the three casinos for a minimum period of 22 years in keeping with the requirements of a Casino Operating and Services Agreement. The Gambling Insider reports that including the allowance of 70 percent in gaming revenue, for each of its 22 years, the deal is estimated to be worth $72 million.
Through Ontario Gaming GTA LP, a newly formed partnership, Great Canadian and Brookfield will each hold a 49 percent stake, while a 2 percent interest will be held by Clairvest Group Inc. On behalf of the partnership, the gaming facilities will be operated by great Canadian within the GTA Bundle.
On behalf of the newly formed partnership, Great Canadian’s President and CEO, Rod N. Baker thanked the OLG for the GTA Bundle award. Baker said, “Great Canadian has a long gaming history in Canada and Ontario and in collaboration with OLG and our partners to deliver gambling responsibly. We look forward to this historic opportunity to service Canada’s largest metropolitan region,” according to the news release.
CEO of Brookfield Business Partners, Cyrus Madon said: “We look forward to working closely with Great Canadian. We will bring our capabilities in operations, development and retail to the Partnership to deliver expanded gaming options and premier entertainment that will enhance the experience of patrons and contribute to the surrounding communities.”
According to the news release, the closing date, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, is expected to be completed in early 2018.
After the announcement of the award, shares in Brookfield and Great Canadian spiked with the later increasing by 14.2 percent in early morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Brookfield stock was up 3.4 percent.
One of the area’s largest operators, Great Canadian boasts 22 gaming properties, which in addition to 14 casinos, includes one commercial bingo hall, four racetrack casinos, three community gaming centers and resort hotels in Moncton, N.B. and Richmond, B.C.