Great Canadian Gaming

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Great Canadian Gaming Corporation
Public
Traded as TSXGC
Industry Gaming
Founded 1982
Headquarters Richmond, British Columbia
Key people
Rod N. Baker
Revenue 48.8 million CAD (2014)[1]
Number of employees
5,500 (2016)[2]
Website www.gcgaming.com

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is a multi-jurisdictional gaming, entertainment and hospitality operator with 19 properties in Canada and the United States. The company’s properties include 13 casinos, 5 horse racing tracks including 4 harness racing tracks and 1 thoroughbred track, and 3 community gaming centres in locations across British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Washington state. Great Canadian employs 5,500 employees across the company and its corporate offices are located in Richmond, British Columbia and Coquitlam, British Columbia. Across all of its 19 properties in five different jurisdictions, Great Canadian responsibly generates gaming funds that support healthcare, education, social services and other government programs.

A key pillar of Great Canadian’s business strategy is its strong support of the communities in which the company operates and does business. Under the PROUD program, Great Canadian annually invests $2 million in local communities across the country, and in 2015, the company supported over 2,000 charitable organizations in need.

Company Information[edit]

Great Canadian profile

  • 5,500 people employed at 19 properties across five jurisdictions
  • 13 casinos
  • 1 Thoroughbred racetrack offering slot machines
  • 4 Standardbred racetracks offering slot machines
  • 1 Standardbred racetrack offering both slot machines and table games
  • 2 Four Diamond Hotels, one of which is a Hotel Resort with conference facilities
  • 3 Show Theatres that accommodate between 1,000 and 2,500 seats
  • Various associated hospitality facilities, including over 43 food and beverage outlets
  • Gross gaming revenue: Almost $900 million
  • Amount Great Canadian’s crown partners retain: Almost $600 million

History[edit]

1980s[edit]

Great Canadian Casino Company Ltd. was formed in 1982 and began operating charity casinos in a variety of locations, training staff on-site, and operating the PNE’s casino and midway games. In 1986, Great Canadian proudly opened its first permanent location, The Casino at the Holiday Inn on Broadway in Vancouver, as well as Nanaimo Casino, the first permanent casino on Vancouver Island. Shortly thereafter, Great Canadian hired its first employees on May 1, 1987. That same year, the British Columbia Gaming Commission (BCLC) was formed, the Red Lion Casino opened in Victoria, and the Richmond Casino and Langley Casino opened their doors too.

1990s[edit]

In 1992, Mayfair Casino was opened. At the same time The Renaissance Casino in Vancouver opened in 1994, and the Guildford Casino closed, transferring its license to The Newton Casino. In 1997, expansions to the gaming landscape in British Columbia included longer hours, a wider variety of table games, and, for the first time, slot machines. Great Canadian Gaming Corporation was created on March 15, 1997, and Great Canadian Casinos Inc. was incorporated July 9, 1997. In 1998, British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) assumed oversight of all casinos in the province.

2000-2005[edit]

During these years, Great Canadian continued to experience further growth. In 2001, Great Canadian opened two new properties in British Columbia: View Royal Casino in Victoria and Coquitlam Casino in Coquitlam. In 2004, during the same year that Great Canadian was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the company introduced River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond to their repertoire of properties. This was also the year the company entered the horseracing industry, acquiring Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver. In addition, Great Canadian bought Bear Mountain Community Gaming Centre in Dawson Creek and gained 100% control of Great American Gaming Corporation and its four casinos in Tukwila, Everett, and Lakewood, in Washington State (the fourth casino in Kent shut down on March 14, 2015).

2005-2010[edit]

In 2005, Great Canadian expanded across the country, acquiring Casino Nova Scotia Halifax and Sydney, and two racetracks in Ontario, Georgian Downs and Flamboro Downs, as well as Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino in Cloverdale (now known as Elements Casino and Fraser Downs Racetrack) and Sandown Park in Greater Victoria, BC. River Rock Casino Resort became the first flagship property of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, adding a Four-Diamond, AAA-rated hotel with two towers, 204 suites, and a 1,000-seat show theatre. At the same time, the Coquitlam Casino completed a significant redevelopment, becoming Boulevard Casino, which tripled it in size. In 2006, Bear Mountain Community Gaming Centre relocated and became known as Chances Dawson Creek Community Gaming Centre. Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino (now Elements Casino and Fraser Downs Racetrack) also added table games to its gaming options.

In 2008, Great Canadian acquired Haney BingoPlex in Maple Ridge, and also completed the redevelopment of Hastings Racecourse, adding a 600 slot permanent gaming facility. In 2009, River Rock Casino Resort welcomed Translink’s Canada Line, Vancouver’s newest mass transit system that delivered 15,000 extra visitors a week to the property. While that was taking place, View Royal Casino underwent an expansion, adding a parkade and additional gaming space.

2010-2015[edit]

In 2010, Haney Bingo Plex received an additional 100 slot machines and was rebranded as Maple Ridge Community Gaming Centre. Casino Nanaimo also rebranded while their 15,000 square-foot gaming space was renovated and upgraded. One year later in 2011, River Rock Casino Resort added a third, four-diamond, hotel tower, offering 196 new hotel rooms. Great Canadian also acquired Chilliwack Bingo during this year.

In 2012, Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino (now Elements Casino & Fraser Downs Racetrack) opened their Poker Room, and Chilliwack Bingo relocated and became Chances Chilliwack. Similarly, in 2013 Maple Ridge Community Gaming Centre relocated to Chances Maple Ridge. Later that year on December 20, 2013, Hard Rock Casino Vancouver opened its doors, following a multi-million dollar renovation and rebranding of the Boulevard Casino.

2015 was another significant year with a number of events that reinforced Great Canadian’s position as a leader in the gaming, entertainment and hospitality industry.

  • Great Canadian agreed to purchase Casino New Brunswick for $95 million.
  • Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, and is re-introduced as Elements Casino
  • Great Canadian began operations in Moncton, New Brunswick with the acquisition of Casino New Brunswick
  • Great Canadian, with partners, was chosen as the first private sector operator as part of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) modernization exercise and subsequently introduced the Shorelines Casino brand to Ontario for its two new gaming properties at Thousand Islands and Kawartha Downs

2016-present[edit]

In January 2016, Great Canadian received official approval to build Shorelines Casino Belleville which will open its doors in 2017.

How Great Canadian supports its communities[edit]

The “PROUD of our people, our business, our community” brand at Great Canadian represents all the ways the company supports the communities that it does business in – through donations, volunteering and partnership opportunities. The goal of PROUD is to positively impact the various needs, causes and projects that matter the most in those communities, through funding as well as time, resources and talent.

In addition, Great Canadian’s PROUD Volunteer program allows employees who dedicate a certain number of volunteer hours to receive additional support in the form of a company donation in their name to that non-profit group/charity.

Through its PROUD efforts, Great Canadian invests over $2 million annually in local communities, and in 2015, the company supported 3,600 charities, non-profit groups and community associations.

Direct Community Support (PROUD program)[edit]

Direct Community Support is just one of the tangible outcomes of Great Canadian’s PROUD program. In the past, charities, community organizations, and events supported include:

  • Chances Dawson Creek: ALS, Dawson Creek Fall Fair and Exhibition, Dawson Creek Hospital Foundation, South Peace Community Resources Society.
  • Chances Maple Ridge: Alisha’s Wish, BC SPCA Maple Ridge, Ridge Meadows Hospital
  • Chances Chilliwack: Adopt-a-road program, Chilliwack Bowls of Hope, Fraser Valley West Coast Motorcycle Ride to Live.
  • Elements Casino: Sophie's Place - Centre for Child Development, Greener Pastures, Surrey Food Bank, United Way, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
  • Hastings Racecourse: Hastings Park Childcare Centre, legacy projects in the Hastings-Sunrise community.
  • Hard Rock Casino Vancouver: SHARE Family and Community Services, Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation, Crossroads Hospice, Variety-the Children's Charity, Rotary Club of Coquitlam Sunrise.
  • River Rock Casino Resort: Richmond Family Place, BC Children's Hospital, Richmond Hospital Foundation, Touchstone Family Association and Richmond Centre for Disability.
  • Casino Nanaimo: Loaves and Fishes Food Bank, Nanaimo District Hospital Foundation, Nanaimo Hospice Society and Haven Society.
  • View Royal Casino: CanAssist Centre at UVIC, Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon, Canadian Cancer Society, Goldstream Food Bank, Jeenece Place, and Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.
  • Casino Nova Scotia Halifax: Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank, Music Nova Scotia, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Chinese Benevolent Society of Nova Scotia, Cedar Festival, Theatre Nova Scotia – Merritt Awards, Motionball for Special Olympics, Nova Scotia Lung Association.
  • Casino Nova Scotia Sydney: Run for the Cure, Prostate Cancer Canada (Movember), Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, Cape Breton Bike Rally, Ride for the Cure.
  • Casino New Brunswick: Lions Sick Children’s Fund, Greater Moncton Chinese Cultural Association, Junior Achievement New Brunswick, Greater Moncton SPCA, Food Depot Alimentaire, Moncton Headstart Toy Drive, New Brunswick Special Olympics Society, United Way of Greater Moncton.
  • Georgian Downs: Habitat for Humanity, Georgian College Student Bursary, The Innisfil Food Bank – Funds for Boxes & Food, OD Park Secondary School – Music Program Fundraiser, Rotary Club of Innisfil – Fun Run & Walkathon, The Terry Fox Foundation, Standardbred Adoption Society, The Children’s Wish Fund, The ‘Christmas for Kids’ Innisfil toy fundraiser
  • Flamboro Downs: Good Shepard, Wells of Hope, St. Leonard's Youth Homelessness Week Soup Challenge, Ronald McDonald House
  • Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands: United Way and Federated Health.
  • Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs: Kawartha Food Share, Peterborough Cancer Society - Bras Around the Building, Kawartha Community Care and Housing, Youth Emergency Centre Warming Room, Kawartha Haliburton Children's Aid Society - The Angel Tree, YWCA - Walk A Mile in Her Shoes, Pathway to Fame, United Way, Peterborough Humane Society, Lakefield Animal Shelter, Coats For Kids, Peterborough Agricultural Tractor Parade.
  • Great American Gaming: Tukwila Food Pantry, Washington Veterans Foundation, Lakewood Chamber, Partners for Parks, Victim Support Services, Camelot Group, Teochewmutual Association.

Host Local Government Revenue Share[edit]

In 2014/2015, the company’s operations generated over $42.5 million to municipalities located in its Western Canada properties, and $16.4 million to municipalities that host its Ontario properties.

BRITISH COLUMBIA (based on FY 2014-2015) Municipality Host Local Government Revenue Share
Chances Maple Ridge Maple Ridge $1.138 million
Chances Chilliwack Chilliwack $1.137 million
Chances Dawson Creek Dawson Creek $.807 million
Hastings Racecourse Vancouver $1.103 million
Nanaimo Nanaimo $2.49 million
View Royal Greater Victoria (West Shore communities) $4.027 million
Hard Rock Casino Vancouver Coquitlam $6.711 million
River Rock Richmond $21.821 million
Elements Surrey $3.030 million
ONTARIO (based on FY 2014-2015) Municipality Host Local Government Revenue Share
Shorelines Thousand Islands Kingston $3.4 million
Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs Fraserville $3 million
Georgian Downs Innisfil $4.9 million
Flamboro Downs Dundas $5.1 million

Responsible Gaming[edit]

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation generally offers gambling in a responsible manner. GCC is regulated by BCLC and therefore is required to adhere to responsible gambling practices through the following:

  • Responsible Gambling Staff Training
  • Display of Responsible Gambling Literature
  • Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program
  • Responsible Gambling Information Centres
  • Community Based Responsible Gambling Awareness Weeks
  • Responsible Marketing Standards
  • No Minors Policy
  • Responsible Service of Alcohol
  • RG Check Certification

RG Check is an accreditation program created by the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) based on its Responsible Gambling Standards for gaming venues and for Internet gambling sites. The program offers gaming companies and their Crown partners the opportunity of an independent assessment of the quality of their responsible gambling safety net. All nine Great Canadian gaming properties in BC, as well as its two casino operations in Ontario, have obtained their RG Check accreditation. To learn more about RG Check, please visit: www.rgcheck.com

Non-gaming amenities[edit]

Great Canadian offers more than just gaming. Broadening its amenities to cater to non-gaming entertainment and dining needs, the company operates hotels, theatres, conference facilities, and its properties include private function/meeting spaces, entertainment lounges, and high quality dining options. Through these efforts, Great Canadian hopes to expand the role of casinos in the regions where it operates.

Great Canadian properties[edit]

British Columbia:

Ontario:

Nova Scotia:

New Brunswick:

Washington State:

References[edit]

External links[edit]