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New slot machines and restaurants likely coming with new Casino management

The old OLG Casino was replaced by the new Gateway Casinos Sault Ste. Marie sign yesterday

Soon locals might be able to blow $100 on a Game of Thrones slot machine and follow it up with a buffet or a beer at a new pub.

Construction workers were seen dismantling the old OLG Casino sign and putting up the new Gateway Casinos Sault Ste. Marie sign yesterday.

Gateway Casinos took over the casino along with several others in northern and southwestern Ontario in May.

Local General Manager Jim Love said that so far, "pretty much everything has stayed the same" in terms of employees and day-to-day casino management but the Sault should expect changes in the services offered he said.

“You’ll find more a focus on fun and entertainment . . . and more focus on our food and beverage offerings.”

Love said the Sault Casino very well could receive one of the following Gateway food and beverage brands: a buffet outlet, the MATCH Eatery and Public House, and Atlas Steak and Fish.

The casino is also purchasing new gaming machines that include more branded titles like Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune, and Game of Thrones, said Love.

He said the casino in Sault Ste. Marie will likely receive one of Gateway Casinos traditional branding levels.

Love described the branding as operating on a multi-tiered system:

Grand Villa Casino – ‘A marquee upscale brand . . . usually found in large cities like Edmonton and Vancouver.’

Starlight Casino – ‘Sort of has an upscale feel.’

Cascades Casino – ‘More of a relaxed gaming atmosphere . . . for local markets.’

Playtime – ‘Similar to Cascades . . . nothing (of this kind) has been announced for Ontario.’

“It’s very early days for us,” said Rob Mitchell, Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Gateway Casinos Ontario, who added that all the changes coming to the casino will be based on a local market assessment that is already underway.

Earlier this year, Gateway Casinos took over management of several formerly OLG-run casinos throughout southern and northern Ontario: Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, London, Clinton, Dresden, Hanover, Woodstock, and Point Edward.

Mitchell said the company is modernizing casinos across the province and, in some cases like Sudbury, building new casinos entirely.

Mitchell said the new restaurant offerings could likely be made separate from the casino floor.

“(So) if you have a young family you can come and enjoy,” he said.

Mitchell said the company is currently in conversations with OLG and other local officials on how best to proceed locally.