Great Canadian Makes Progress in Ontario and BC

August has been a month of progress for Great Canadian Gaming.

The North American casino operator and management company reported a strong second quarter of financial results in mid-August.

Further, Great Canadian’s Chances Chilliwack in British Columbia was approved for live dealer table games. In Ontario, Great Canadian announced that its Pickering establishment’s name and opening hopes for 2020, and its Casino Woodbine ratified a four-year union agreement.

Second Quarter Growth

When Great Canadian Gaming announced its first quarter 2019 results several months ago, the news was positive. Revenue was up 35% to $312.1 million, despite extreme weather conditions during the first months of the year.

The second quarter was also positive.

For the three-month period ending June 30, 2019, the company reported $354.4 million in revenue. This is up from the previous quarter and 20% more than the same period in 2018.

Some of the revenue increase was attributed to a full quarter of operations of the West GTA Gaming Bundle. This is along with new revenue from Casino Woodbine and Elements Casino Mohawk, and solid performances from the East Gaming Bundle.

Since the company sold all shares of its wholly-owned subsidiary Great American Gaming Corporation for C$73.4 million on June 27. So, that was a C$47 million gain after income taxes. That was $0.80 per share. Combined with the $48 million in net earnings from continuing operations, Great Canadian’s shareholders were likely pleased. This comes out to , or another $0.81 per common share.

That sale of Great American was one of the focuses of Great Canadian CEO Rod Baker’s comments. He noted that the company can now focus on its core growth markets and “execute on our operational and development plans for 2019 and beyond.”

Solid Outlook for Remainder of 2019

The Q2 financial report noted work that will go toward completing developments at Elements Casino Flamboro and Elements Casino Grand River. Both casinos are in Ontario.

Baker noted, “2019 is a year of significant capital expenditures as we build our infrastructure in Ontario to execute our strategic plan.”

He also commented on a solid approach to using capital to explore opportunities to improve the business. This will also increase shareholder value. The company’s financial position is strong, Baker added, with cash of $407.6 million.

Chilliwack Table Games Approved

Just weeks ago, Chances Chilliwack was preparing for an August 20 public meeting. The property, owned and operated by Great Canadian Gaming, wanted to add table games with live dealers to its gaming floor.

Chilliwack had been considering the proposal for the six desired table games, though the City Council authorized the process to move forward back in June. Great Canadian then obtained a government consultation and city report ahead of the August 20 meeting.

The vote at the meeting was positive for the casino. The application was approved.

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) will need to approve upon verification that all of the requirements are satisfactory. The Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch will have to approve the tables and their locations as well.

Chances Chilliwack Director of Operations Shawn Duncan commented that he was thrilled and hopes to introduce the six live-dealer table games as early as this fall. “With this addition,” he said, “we will be able to introduce another exciting option for our guests and create a memorable experience that a full-service gaming property can offer.”

The games will include blackjack, Texas hold’em, and four-card poker.

Pickering Casino Resort in Progress

In Pickering, Ontario, Great Canadian Gaming announced that its new facility there will be called the Pickering Casino Resort.

Its general manager, Tyrone Waite, said, “While we have so much more to develop and construct, being able to share the brand name of the resort with the community is an exciting next step for us.”

The casino, hotel, and entertainment venue has been under construction since 2018. However, it is preparing to open the first phase of the property in early 2020. The casino, restaurants, and bars will be a part of that opening. The hotel and entertainment portions will open in a future phase.

Pickering Casino Resort is already planning its career fairs to begin staffing the facility. It will eventually employ more than 2,000 people.

Union Deal Done at Woodbine

Also in August, Great Canadian Gaming announced that a new collective agreement was signed with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). This ratified a four-year agreement between PSAC and Casino Woodbine employees.

Casino Woodbine General Manager Iafrate believes the deal is another building block and part of a development plan to transform the property into a “world-class entertainment destination.”

No details of the agreement were released, but the negotiations did take some time before being finalized earlier this month.

 

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. As the online gaming sectors have changed and grown, particularly in the United States and Canada, she has followed it all and written about it for websites like World Poker Tour and PokerScout. In her free time, she runs a small business, reads, cooks, and enjoys music.

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