BACKGROUNDER: GTA GAMING BUNDLE REQUESTS FOR PRE-QUALIFICATION
OLG has launched the Requests for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) for the GTA Gaming Bundle—Gaming Zone C2 (OLG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack); Gaming Zone C3 (OLG Slots at Ajax Downs), and potentially Gaming Zone C8 (Great Blue Heron Casino).
OLG’s business analysis determined that GTA customers are best served by having a single service provider manage all gaming operations in the GTA. Included in this group are OLG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack and Ajax Downs, and potentially, the Great Blue Heron Casino. A single service provider will help manage the regional market to maximize returns to the Province.
The service provider will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of gaming facilities in the bundle for approximately 22 years. If a GTA municipality expresses an interest in becoming a host for a gaming site over that 22 year period, the service provider for the GTA bundle would have a right of first opportunity to become the service provider for a new gaming site.
Municipal approval is essential for any expansion or new development. Any new facility or relocation of an existing site is subject to final approval from the Ontario government.
Horse Racing Integration
Ensuring a vibrant horse racing industry is a critical consideration as OLG modernizes gaming. This change is a positive move for Ontario’s horse racing industry because, for the first time, all of the stakeholders are fully engaged in the effort to integrate horse racing into a provincial gaming strategy.
Maintaining successful slot facilities at racetracks is just one component of integration. New games, new pari-mutuel products, new marketing approaches are all part of what OLG and the industry are working on today—all with the objective of encouraging a vibrant and sustainable racing industry in Ontario for the long-term. OLG will also provide expertise in marketing and Responsible Gambling.
Gaming Zone C2 (OLG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack)
OLG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack currently generates 20 per cent of all slot revenue for Ontario’s 24 gaming sites. In fact, it is one of the busiest gaming floors in North America.
Municipal approval is necessary for any expansion. On May 21, 2013, the City of Toronto decided against expansion of gaming at the Woodbine facility. OLG respects Council’s decision and all pre-qualified service providers will be made aware of this condition during the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.
Gaming Zone C3 (OLG Slots at Ajax Downs)
OLG Slots at Ajax Downs provides an opportunity for a service provider to leverage the success of an existing site with its established customer base and experienced employees.
The official plan and municipal by-laws for the Town of Ajax, host of OLG Slots at Ajax Downs, currently permit only 800 Electronic Gaming Positions at the gaming site in Gaming Zone C3 and municipal approval for the introduction of Live Table Games is not yet in place.
Expansion of a current facility can only occur where there is municipal consent, customer interest and a viable business case.
Gaming Zone C8 (Great Blue Heron Casino)
OLG conducts and manages the slots operations at the Great Blue Heron Casino, while the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation’s charitable organization, the Baagwating Community Association, is licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to conduct and manage the table games at the facility.
A service provider currently manages the day-to-day operations of the slots at the Great Blue Heron Casino on behalf of OLG. The same service provider has a separate agreement to operate table games on behalf of the Baagwating Community Association.
At such time and on such terms as OLG may determine, following consultation with the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, the Great Blue Heron Casino may become part of the GTA Gaming Bundle. At that time, the service provider for the GTA Gaming Bundle would become the service provider for the Great Blue Heron Casino. Further details will be provided to pre-qualified respondents during the RFP process.
Including the potential opportunity to manage the Great Blue Heron Casino in the GTA Gaming Bundle provides an opportunity for the selected service provider to effectively manage gaming in the GTA market.
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