One of Canada’s largest casino companies is for sale and valued at $2 billion, including debt.
Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, which operates 31 casinos in Canada — 14 in Ontario, 15 in British Columbia and two in Alberta — is on the block. Bloomberg was first to report.
An unidentified source “close to the matter” told Bloomberg that Gateway has hired Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Grouip to search for potential buyers or investors.
Gateway Casinos has 7,200 employees across 31 properties
Gateway, founded 31 years ago, employs some 7,200 people. The casino company’s website says its 31 properties collectively have:
- 14,288 slot machines
- 391 table games
- 564 hotel rooms
- 81 food and beverage outlets
- 31 poker tables
Catalyst Capital Group, a private equity firm with more than $6 billion in assets, has been the majority owner of BC-based Gateway since 2010.
The news of the company being for sale comes just four years after a group that included Catalyst, hedge fund HG Vora and Leisure Acquisition Corp. tried to take Gateway public. The casino company was then valued at $1.15 billion. The agreement fell through in June 2020. A public explanation was not given.
Gateway has the most casinos in Canada
Though many of its casinos are in smaller communities, Gateway has the most total locations of any casino operator in Canada. Gateway’s flagship property is Casino Rama in Orillia.
Great Canadian Entertainment, also based in BC, has 25 casinos in Canada — including the country’s largest, Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto.
Great Canadian collectively operates more than 18,000 slot machines and 600 live table games, along with a number of hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Potential suitors for Gateway’s properties are limited given the relatively small size of Canada’s population (nearly 39 million).
Despite being for sale, Gateway is still expanding
In the last 18 months, Gateway has opened the Cascades Casino in North Bay and the Playtime Casino Wasaga Beach, both in Ontario.
Gateway is also expanding its location in London, ON. Gateway is investing $50 million to expand its Gateway Casino London located at the Western Fair District.
The 27-month expansion project will see the gaming floor grow from 70,000 to 84,000 square feet and add two new restaurants.
The revamped Gateway Casinos London gaming floor will house 891 slot machines and 18 live gaming tables, which will surround a newly installed centralized bar.