On Wednesday, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment CEO Tony Santo announced that the Palace Casino on the north side of the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada will be rebranded and redeveloped as the Starlight Casino Edmonton. An estimated additional 300 jobs will result from the project along with an additional $45 million shot in the arm for Edmonton’s economy.
The move by British Columbia-based Gateway follows a similar announcement in April of the replacement of the Baccarat Casino in downtown Edmonton by a $32 million upscale entertainment and gaming complex next to the Rogers Place Arena called the Grand Villa Edmonton. Santo said when he first visited the two aging and lackluster Edmonton gaming facilities he was disappointed and “I thought we could do a better job for our customers and our employees,” according to the Edmonton Journal.
Scheduled to open its doors in fall 2016, the expansion includes doubling the existing entertainment space to 115,000 square feet plus, new dining and entertainment options, and an expanded gaming floor with 34 table games and 850 slot machines, up from the approximate 24 and 750 currently operated at the Palace. It will feature a Supper Club that will provide live entertainment, Gateway’s newest signature restaurant, Atlas Steak & Fish, a Noodle Bar and a Buffet. Along with those changes, Gateway is opening another restaurant in Edmonton, the Match Eatery & Public House.
Gateway also announced it would be partnering with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). NAIT’s GatewayGives program helps support charitable and community initiatives in Edmonton. The partnership will provide assistance to students pursuing careers in culinary arts or hospitality.
Upon opening and when fully operational, the Starlight Casino Edmonton and Grand Villa Edmonton will employ more than 900 in Edmonton and approximately 4,100 throughout Western Canada.
A Canadian gaming and entertainment operator, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited operates 12 casinos in Alberta and British Columbia, including Kamloops, British Columbia’s newest casino, Cascades Casino Kamloops, which opened in August, among others.