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Canada – Great Canadian Gaming wins the race to buy Greater Toronto bundle

By - 14 August 2017

Great Canadian Gaming Corp and partner Brookfield Asset Management has been awarded the 22-year license to operate slot halls and casinos in the Greater Toronto Area.

It beat off competition from Genting Group and Caesars Entertainment to win the right from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to buy OLG Slots at Woodbine, OLG Slots at Ajax Downs and the Great Blue Heron Casino in the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. The three casinos house over 4,000 slot machines and 60 gaming tables between them.

The portfolio is believed to be capable of generating US$72m per year including and to 70% of gambling revenue.

Known as the GTA Bundle, it is the largest award by the OLG as part of the modernisation of its casino operations. In 2016, its three facilities, OLG Slots at Woodbine, OLG Slots at Ajax Downs and Great Blue Heron Casino located in the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, generated gross gaming revenue of over $1bn.

As a result of this award, Great Canadian and Brookfield will acquire all the gaming assets in the GTA Bundle through a transition and asset purchase agreement with OLG, and will have the exclusive right to operate these assets for a minimum period of 22 years, in accordance with the requirements of a Casino Operating and Services Agreement. Great Canadian and Brookfield will invest through a newly formed partnership, Ontario Gaming with Great Canadian and Brookfield each holding a 49 per cent interest in the Partnership. Clairvest Group will hold a two per cent interest. Great Canadian will operate the gaming facilities within the GTA Bundle on behalf of the Partnership. The Partnership will bring considerable gaming, urban redevelopment and hospitality expertise to the operations and strategic repositioning of the GTA Bundle. This development (subject to approvals) and modernisation will include integrated property expansions that will enhance the gaming offerings to service the GTA market. It will also include leading world-class amenities consisting of state-of-the-art conference facilities, hotels and premier entertainment venues.

The Partnership will work closely with all vested stakeholders as it revitalizes the GTA Bundle to enhance guest experience for visitors from within the community, across the Province, and from around the world. The developments will increase local employment opportunities and bring significant economic benefit to the local communities and the Province of Ontario.

“We thank OLG for the award of the GTA Bundle on behalf of the partnership,” stated Rod Baker, Great Canadian’s President and CEO. “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.”

“We are excited to have been selected by OLG to operate the GTA Bundle,” said Cyrus Madon, CEO, Brookfield Business Partners. “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.”

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