Surprise! Gateway wins bid for Central Gaming Bundle

More Ontario casinos go to Gateway in OLG’s Central Gaming Bundle.

Gateway wins bid for Central Ontario CasinosThe Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) has spent the last few years allocating the managerial responsibilities of its casino properties to Canadian gaming operators. After a long and arduous procurement process, including months of deliberation over a multitude of bidders, the OLG finally made its selection last week.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, OLG chose Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. as the winner of its Central Gaming Bundle. Gateway was also the regulator’s choice to host Ontario’s North and Southwest gaming bundles back in 2016.

Gateway to Manage More Ontario Casinos

As per the announcement, Gateway will take over the day to day operations of Ontario’s Casino Rama and the OLG Slots at Georgian Downs in Innisfil. In addition, the company will have the opportunity to develop a new casino in central Ontario.

Preliminary plans call for an additional gaming facility to be constructed in Collingwood or Wagasa Beach. City staff members in those locations will have to weigh proposals and receive input from the public before a decision is made.

Gateway CEO Tony Santo expressed his pleasure with the provincial regulator’s decision to put them in charge of yet another group of casinos in Ontario. “We are very pleased to once again partner with OLG as the service provider in the Central Gaming Bundle,” he said in a press release announcing the procurement.

“Gateway has become the standard for gaming and hospitality in Canada and the award of this bundle allows us to build on that leadership position,” continued Santo. “We look forward to working with our new team members at Casino Rama Resort and OLG Slots at Georgian Downs.”

Stephen Rigby, President and CEO of OLG, explained the choice in a statement. “Selecting Gateway is the latest step OLG is taking as we continue to bring new jobs and economic development to communities across Ontario. The investments Gateway will make in the central region will enhance the gaming experience for customers and help OLG increase its contribution to the Province of Ontario.”

OLG Defends Fairness in Procurement Process

In December of 2016, OLG chose Gateway to manage its North and Southwest casino bundles. That gave the operator control of 9 casinos and slots facilities, plus the rights to construct several more gaming properties in those regions. It’s all part of the regulator’s Modernization Plan, but some are questioning whether Gateway has become ‘teacher’s pet’ in the selection process.

It’s become so apparent that OLG actually defended its choice in the announcement:

To OLG, the integrity of its procurement process is of the utmost importance.

In order to ensure an open and transparent process for all proponents, OLG has engaged the services of an impartial Fairness Monitor to advise throughout the process and provide oversight on the fairness of the procurement.”

Pending closure requirements on Gateway’s part, the company – which has become Canada’s largest casino gaming corporation, thanks majorly to OLG – is expected to take over its new managerial duties at the central Ontario casinos sometime during the summer of 2018.

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