Apollo Funds Completes Acquisition of Great Canada Gaming

Apollo Funds Completes Acquisition of Great Canada Gaming
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Apollo Global Management announced its affiliate, Apollo Funds, has completed the acquisition of Great Canadian Corporation. Gaming executive Anthony Rodio has been named CEO of Great Canadian and will lead the company from its headquarters in Toronto.

"Tony is one of the industry's most accomplished executives, and we are confident that his experience leading businesses through transformative periods of innovation and growth will help to take Great Canadian to new heights," Alex van Hoek, Apollo Partner and Chairman of the Board of Great Canadian, said in a news release. "We are excited to have him at the helm and to support Great Canadian as the Company continues to prioritize and enhance the experience of the guests, team members and communities they serve."

Rodio brings 40 years of experience in the gaming industry. He was most recently the CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. He was also previously the CEO of Affinity Gaming and the President and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment. Rodio also held senior roles at Hollywood Casino and Harrah’s Entertainment.

About Great Canadian Corporation

Great Canadian was founded in 1982 and operates 25 gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities across Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The Ontario-based company supports more than 1,400 charitable and non-profit organizations in Canada. A significant portion of gross gaming revenue from each Canadian jurisdiction is dedicated to funding healthcare, education and social services.

"Great Canadian is an incredible gaming and entertainment franchise and I'm excited to lead the company as we continue to safely welcome back team members and guests across the country," Rodio said in the release. "Together with Apollo and my management team, we see tremendous opportunity to build on Great Canadian's leading market position, improving the guest experience and entering new channels for growth, with a continuous focus on the importance of our relationships with our Crown agencies and other key stakeholders."

The previous interim CEO, Terrance Doyle, will become the National President of Business Development. He will report directly to the board of directors. Doyle will help the board and management with the transition.

Canada Features Single-Event Wagering

Canada recently underwent a major sports betting change when the country gave bettors the opportunity to wager on single-event games. Aug. 27 was the first day Canadians were able to place legal single-game bets under the new federal law.

Players in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec could use online sites to submit their single-game wagers. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) was among the first groups to announce its desktop and mobile sports betting options for single games. Previously, parlays were the sole legal option for sports bettors.

“We’re thrilled to launch our new digital sportsbook, PROLINE+, on this momentous day where OLG is finally able to offer single-event sports wagering and be among the first in Canada to offer this capability,” Duncan Hannay, OLG president and CEO, said in a press release on Aug. 27. “More events, more betting options, and greater accessibility means more fan engagement with the comfort of knowing OLG stands behind the product.”

While provincial lotteries are taking sports bets, it will be some time before well-known U.S. operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM can enter the market. Regulations still need to be established in the provinces to enable them to operate in Canada.