Apollo Funds Acquires Great Canadian Gaming, Appoints CEO

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on September 29, 2021 - Last Updated on July 15, 2022
Pyramid of wooden blocks with male and female silhouettes sit on a wooden table in front of a teal wall. A hand is seen putting the top block in place

Apollo Global Management has announced its affiliate, Apollo Funds, has completed its acquisition of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCG).

The CA$2.48 billion acquisition closed on Sept 22.

Apollo now has control over 25 casinos located in Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and New Brunswick, according to the agreement.

Additionally, the company named Anthony “Tony” Rodio CEO. Rodio will lead the company from its Toronto headquarters. Rodio, who follows interim CEO Terrance Doyle, will also join Great Canadian’s board.

40 years in the industry

Rodio has nearly 40 years of experience in the gaming industry. Most recently, he was CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Prior, he served as Affinity Gaming’s CEO and president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment. He’s also held senior roles at Hollywood Casino and Harrah’s Entertainment.

Tony is one of the industry’s most accomplished executives,” said Alex van Hoek, Apollo partner and chairman of the board of Great Canadian. “And we are confident that his experience leading businesses through transformative periods of innovation and growth will help to take Great Canadian to new heights.”

“We are excited to have him at the helm and to support Great Canadian as the company continues to prioritize and enhance the experience of the guests, team members, and communities they serve.”

Rodio is equally thrilled.

“Great Canadian is an incredible gaming and entertainment franchise, and I’m excited to lead the Company as we continue to safely welcome back team members and guests across the country,” Rodio said.

“Together with Apollo and my management team, we see tremendous opportunity to build on Great Canadian’s leading market position, improving the guest experience and entering new channels for growth, with a continuous focus on the importance of our relationships with our Crown agencies and other key stakeholders.”

Great Canadian welcoming back its guests

Great Canadian operates casinos in four provinces – including exclusive locations near Toronto and Vancouver with concert venues and hotels.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all these locations shut down in March and remained closed until July 2021. During the first six months of 2021, Great Canadian lost nearly $71.2 million.

As pandemic restrictions lift, Great Canadian plans to enhance the non-gambling experience. Additionally, the company will bring in musical acts and improve dining at most properties.

Strengthening its online gambling platforms while improving loyalty programs is also part of GCG’s 2021 strategy.

Photo by Dreamstime.com
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina is a Toronto-based online gambling writer who holds a master's degree in journalism. Before joining PlayCanada, she was part of the AskGamblers crew where she reported about the world of online casinos and interviewed numerous iGaming experts. Being in the industry for 5 years, she became an expert in online slots.

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