What are the most personally rewarding aspects of working in a leadership role in the Canadian gaming industry and why?
When I arrived at Gateway, there were many talented individuals who weren’t in a position to reach their full potential. But we’ve changed that and now we’re actively developing our internal talent, which has made us a stronger company and hopefully a better employer. Building from within — to develop an internal team that is focused and engaged — is so rewarding to me because that’s how I came up in the business.
What do you believe are the greatest growth opportunities for gaming in Canada and why?
If you look at trends with casual gamers, I believe the greatest growth opportunity resides in transitioning our gaming facilities into entertainment complexes with a wider range of entertainment options and amenities. Because that is really what people want to do – go out and be entertained. So our challenge, as an operator, is to provide the complete entertainment package – gaming, accommodations, dining, and entertainment. I also think there are a number of markets that could support more gaming properties, but obviously that is up to local and provincial leaders to determine.
What are the greatest challenges facing the Canadian gaming industry today?
When you look at the gaming offering in Canada, there is more work to be done in creating an entertainment offering that includes, but is not limited to, gaming. The next critical step in that process is creating a robust loyalty platform that rewards customers for all their preferences and purchases – not just gaming. The casual gamer should be rewarded for dining at a restaurant or purchasing concert tickets. That’s how we attract a younger demographic – providing entertainment and rewarding those preferences.
What is your vision for the future of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment and its role in the Canadian gaming community?