Three companies remain in running as Ontario moves to privatize betting industry

  • Selected operator will take over Greater Toronto Area
  • Stiff competition to manage Canada’s leading gaming hub

The race to become Ontario’s sole gambling services operator is hotting up, as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. moves to hand over control of the Greater Toronto Area.

ontario gambling operarors
Ontario’s casino market is currently up for grabs for a number of leading casino operators

It has been alleged that Caesars Entertainment is in contention, along with the expanding Genting Group and a Canadian gaming group, Brookfield Asset Management. A $1.83 billion gambling market is up for grabs, and the successful operator will receive $57.43 million annually as part of the deal – subject to terms and dependent on revenues improving.

Decline in revenues leads to change in approach

Canada’s gambling services have typically been operated at a federal level, with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. having responsibility for casinos, racing, lotteries, online betting and the sports book market.

However, the industry has been hit by falling revenues since the advent of online gambling, reports The Globe and Mail, and the casino boom in the United States which attracts many Canadian visitors each year.

It is hoped that investment from the private sector will revive Canada’s own gambling scene and get the market performing to its full potential once more.

To attract a reliable and committed company to the role, the OLG is offering 70% of revenues along with a $57.43 million annual payout to the winning bidder. The chosen operator will take control of existing gambling sites and improve them with additional gaming facilities: including prized race track Woodbine Entertainment. They will also develop a new casino within the gaming district.

Leading global casinos await decision from OLG

Two of the world’s biggest casino chains, Caesars Entertainment and Genting, are among the three remaining candidates to take on the OLG contract. However, Canada might be keen to see casino operations remain in the national interest, so Brookfield Asset Management is a likely choice to take over operations for Ontario and the GTA.

All bidding is now closed and the decision rests with officials on the gaming board, with a decision expected within the next month.

Whoever the winning bid belongs to, Canadians are looking forward to renewed investment in their gambling industry. Toronto politician Shafiq Qaadri told reporters of the “buzz” expected when activity in the gambling hub is boosted – including growth in jobs, tourism and spending. The OLG, who will remain as a distant supervisor and regulator of the chosen operator, hopes to boost revenues as much as $900 million by 2020 through the privatization scheme.

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