Three Industry Giants Battle for Control of Caesars Windsor’s Lucrative License

Three formidable contenders are locked in a fierce competition to secure the coveted license for Canada’s Caesars Windsor. The iconic casino, a cornerstone of Windsor’s economy and tourism for the past three decades, is facing an unprecedented challenge as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) reviews proposals from industry giants.

Caesars Windsor’s License Sparks Fierce Competition

For the first time since its grand opening 30 years ago, the license to operate the slot machines and blackjack tables of Caesars Windsor is up for grabs, reported The Globe and Mail. 

The OLG, responsible for overseeing the selection process, is tight-lipped about the proceedings, but insiders reveal a three-horse race among Caesars Entertainment Inc., the current operator, Bally’s Corp., an upstart built from Caesars’ former assets, and Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, an Indigenous-owned enterprise with a successful track record in Niagara Falls.

Despite the OLG’s confidentiality measures, speculation is rife in Windsor about who will emerge victorious. The decision, expected in the fall, will determine the casino’s operator for the next two decades, commencing in 2025.

Local leaders, including Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, union representatives, and tourism officials, rally behind the incumbent, Caesars Entertainment Inc. With unanimous support, they cite the casino’s pivotal role in providing over 2,000 jobs and anchoring the local tourism industry. 

The OLG’s decision holds significant weight, as it not only impacts the casino’s future but also shapes the broader economic landscape of Windsor.

Caesars Windsor Transforms City Identity, Shifting from Auto Hub to Tourist Hotspot

Caesars’ legacy in Windsor extends beyond its economic contributions. The casino, strategically located in the heart of downtown, played a crucial role in transforming the city’s identity from an automobile hub to a thriving tourist destination. 

Over the years, it weathered challenges such as smoking bans, cross-border travel restrictions, and the recent global pandemic, emerging as a resilient force in the ever-evolving gambling industry.

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The influence of Caesars on the local economy is profound, with 4.4 million visitors injecting $669 million into the region in 2022. The OLG’s decision will not only impact the casino’s future but also reshape the competitive dynamics of the regional gambling industry.

In April 2023, the OLG initiated the search for a new operator for Caesars Windsor Casino, as the current contract with Caesars Entertainment is set to end in 2025. 

The OLG’s Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) invited experienced and reputable companies to submit initial bids, ensuring the selection lodivip of a highly qualified service provider to maintain the casino’s competitiveness and contribute to the local economy. The chosen operator will oversee day-to-day operations, but the OLG will retain overall control.