Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara Will Be Run by Americans, That’s for Sure
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has made Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara available for lease, while both venues will be offered together in a 20-year deal.
Initially, five companies were interested in leasing these properties, with only two of them being Canadian – the Great Canadian Gaming Corp and Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd, while the other three are from the United States – Hard Rock Café International Inc., Caesars Entertainment Corp., and Mohegan Sun Inc.
According to available information, only the US companies are still in play, which means that Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara will be run by an American company for the next two decades.
What Does This Mean?
Until the new management takes over, the two casinos owned by the provincial government of Ontario are run by the provincial crown corporation. This way, the government is involved in everyday activities related to running the venues, but are also involved in any future planning.
In financial terms, this has been a very profitable relationship not only for the provincial but for the local authorities as well. Since December 1996, the OLG brought Niagara around $125 million in revenue, while the latest quarterly payment was made in June when the city received nearly $7.4 million. The two casinos are the largest and most important employer in the city as well.
The fact these venues bring money doesn’t mean they cost nothing. The operational costs and maintenance are pretty expensive, and the government covers these expenses by using the money from the state coffer, which means it uses the money from the taxpayers.
In a recent interview, OLG President Stephen Rigby said the lease sale would make the future costs of developing, expanding and maintaining these casinos the responsibility of a service provider.
In practice, this means Ontario taxpayers wouldn’t finance these costs anymore.
Does the Future Look Bright?
Whatever happens at the end of the bidding process, one thing is certain: the casinos won’t be run by a Canadian side. At this point, it’s still too early to say which of the three US companies will be the one to get the lease, while the OLG said it would make a final decision based on the experience the three companies had in gaming development.
That doesn’t narrow down the choice, since all three of them have a vast experience in this area, especially when online gaming is in question, which is a rapidly growing industry in Canada. Online gambling has also been on the rise in Ontario.
According to the sources, all three bidders plan to expand their loyalty schemes, especially Hard Rock and Caesars Entertainment Corp which already have existing schemes of their own.
In that case, the OLG fears both casinos may lose their VIP players to Las Vegas-based establishments, which could have a significant impact on Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara.
But still, we can only guess what the future holds for these two casinos since none of the bidders have revealed any detailed plans so far. We can assume the OLG knows what it’s doing and that it will choose the best possible bidder for Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara.