UPDATE: October 30, 2014 - The OLG issued a news release further extending the submission deadline for RFPQ submissions for the GTA Gaming Bundle to April 30, 2015.
UPDATE: August 7, 2014 - The OLG issued a news release further extending the submission deadline for RFPQ submissions for the GTA Gaming bundle to November 6, 2014.
UPDATE: May 24, 2014 - Submission deadline extended to August 14, 2014.
On March 3, 2014, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) was slated to close it's Requests for Proposal Prequalification (RFPQ) for the building and operation of casino properties within the Greater Toronto Area. Instead, the OLG released an update extending the RFPQ deadline to May 8, 2014.
The document in focus is the RFPQ relating to the GTA Gaming Bundle. This includes the zones that include OLG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack (C2), OLG Slots at Ajax Downs (C3) and 'potentially' the Great Blue Heron Casino on Scugog Island near Port Perry (C8). Other RFPQs were released for other areas in the province, and those have not been extended.
The RFPQs were released to allow gaming companies interested in bidding on the casino projects to share their capabilities in building and operating gaming facilities, as well as the non-gaming amenities that might accompany these facilities (like restaurant, entertainment and hotel).
I have written two articles thus far on the process:
The scope of the RFPQ is to have an operator provide operations of gaming in the GTA "for approximately 22 years". It is also clear that the OLG plans to work with municipalities for both expansion/relocation of existing facilites or the construction of new ones. If and when a municipality approves the construction of a large casino in the GTA, the selected service provider would have the right of first opportunity to become the service provider for the new gaming site. This stipulation makes the potential group of companies to bid on the smaller venues much larger in scope, and will likely include suitors that have previously expressed interest in the Toronto market.
Those companies include some major players in the gaming industry, including Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts and Las Vegas Sands. Given the massive potential scope of this mandate, it is understandable that some of the companies involved would have needed more time to put together the information requested in the RFPQ.
Keep an eye out for updates as I watch this process as it develops further.