Back in March, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation suspending operations in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19. The organization operates Chances Maple Ridge. The facilities have not been cleared to open again under provincial health regulations. (Chances Maple Ridge/Twitter)

COVID fuels potential sale of Chances Maple Ridge

Local casino and other Great Canadian Gaming Corporation properties on the selling block

Chances Maple Ridge is likely being bought up by a global investment company, and COVID seems to be a motivator behind its sale.

Apollo Global Management is aiming to acquire Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC), and as part of that deal will be picking up the local casino located at Lougheed Highway and 227th Street.

If the sale is approved, Apollo is committed to maintaining the GCGC’s current operational footprint, the proposed new owners announced Tuesday evening. GCGC has 25 gaming, entertainment, and hospitality facilities in B.C., Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

RELATED: Take your Chances at Maple Ridge’s new gaming centre

In fact, in the announcement about acquiring GCGC at $39 (Cdn) per share, the Apollo owners said they’re anticipating growing the properties and driving “additional, incremental growth” through expansion of non-gaming facilities, among other initiatives.

If the sale goes ahead, Great Canadian will remain headquartered in Toronto, led by a Canadian management team with Canadian board members, explained Rod Baker, the GCGC’s chief executive officer.

“The board of directors, based on a recommendation from the special committee of independent directors, has unanimously concluded that this transaction represents the best course of action for the company,” Baker said.

Great Canadian annually supports more than 1,400 charitable and non-profit organizations across Canada, and Apollo recognizes Great Canadian’s strong track record of corporate citizenship and community involvement and will continue this legacy, assured the CEO, in explaining the proposed transition.

Moreover, the move, said Baker, will help the company navigate through what he calls “this volatile time.”

RELATED: Chances Maple Ridge casino suspends operations to contain spread of COVID-19, company says

Appollo partner Alex van Hoek went on to say his company is anxious to expand its presence in Canada, describing Great Canadian – including Chances Maple Ridge – as a leader in the gaming and entertainment industry.

“With an industry-leading portfolio of assets and established presence in the best geographic markets across Canada, we are excited to help bring an enhanced experience to more guests across Canada,” van Hoek said.

“We also recognize the challenges of the current circumstances and are committed to working with the management team, regulators, and health authorities to allow the company to reopen its properties as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

He referred to being anxious to get the GCGC team back to work, and hoping for a time when business can be restored to pre-COVID levels.

RELATED: Gaming centre opens its doors Oct. 23

In the meantime, the sale of Great Canadian must still be approved by its shareholders. That vote is expected to happen next month, and if approved the sale would close in the second quarter of 2021.



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