Caesars Windsor Operating License to Expire, Ontario Opens Competitive Bidding
Caesars Entertainment’s operating license at Caesars Windsor will expire in 2025. In anticipation of reaching a new partnership with the Las Vegas Strip firm or a new gaming management entity, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) this week opened up a competitive bidding process.
The OLG on Wednesday initiated its Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) for its Windsor casino. The RFPQ, the OLG explained, is the first step in the procurement process to select the casino’s next operator.
OLG is advancing plans that will support the long-term vibrancy and excitement of the casino experience in Ontario,” said Duncan Hannay, the president and CEO of the OLG. “Releasing the RFPQ for the Windsor casino is the first step in selecting a highly qualified service provider that will ensure the long-term competitiveness of the site while continuing to generate economic benefits for the local community and for Ontario.”
To prequalify, interested firms must demonstrate to the OLG that the organization has a lengthy track record in managing a large casino resort such as Caesars Windsor. Companies that prequalify will advance to the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase of procurement.
Caesars Windsor is near Detroit and features 750 hotel rooms. The casino floor offers 2,230 slot machines, 85 table games, and a Caesars Sportsbook. The resort also has six restaurants and four bars, plus the 5,000-seat Colosseum theater.
The OLG says the casino operators that qualify for the RFP will be given the opportunity to present their ideas for the future of Caesars Windsor. In the second round of the bidding process, the OLG will supply bidders with documents and information outlining the opportunity and the sort of information the government is looking for in a proposal.
The OLG is a Crown corporation owned by the Ontario government. Formed in 1975 with the purpose of using lotteries and gaming to generate provincial tax revenue, the OLG today owns the province’s lotteries, charity gaming businesses, Aboriginal casinos, commercial casinos such as Caesars Windsor, and racinos.
The OLG partners with both public and private companies to manage its locations. While Caesars Entertainment is a publicly traded firm, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and Gateway Casinos, which operate numerous OLG casino properties, are privately held.
Caesars Entertainment has operated the Windsor casino throughout its entire existence, which dates back to 1994 when the venue opened as the first commercial casino in Ontario. Caesars is reportedly interested in extending its OLG contract and is the presumed heavy front-runner in the competitive bid.
The OLG’s brick-and-mortar casino portfolio includes 28 locations. The OLG’s gaming partners all utilize the same formula to decide the amount of the gaming proceeds that must be shared with the government unit. Those proceeds are predominantly allocated back to the host community.
The City of Windsor’s revenue share from Caesars Windsor in the fourth quarter of 2022 was a little more than $2 million. Since its opening, the casino has benefited Windsor with more than $80.3 million.
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