The CEO added a priority for the company is to diversify the gaming experience at Great Canadian’s establishments and create more awareness.
“My sense is that there’s not a lot of brand equity or awareness of Great Canadian and some of our properties,” Rodio added. “I think with the two assets we’re dramatically improving and the ability to create more awareness and media attention of our offerings, we have a ton of opportunity to increase our penetration in Ontario and the GTA.”
Growing pains amid reopening
As CEO of Caesars from 2019 until the company’s takeover by Eldorado in 2020, Rodio has witnessed firsthand some of the pains of reopening the gaming industry in the U.S. He says Canada is following a similar path in recent months and notes that while Great Canadian has mitigated the pains of the process well, there have been undeniable struggles.
“We’re operating at 50 per cent capacity in most instances, but our business values are only off 10 or 12 per cent in most cases. So given the limited capacity at which we’re operating, it’s actually been a pretty quick rebound,” Rodio continued. “My biggest supply chain concern is continuing to get the construction materials we need for our ongoing projects to get them fully open on time. But from a day-to-day standpoint, because we’re operating a limited capacity, there hasn’t been too great of an impact.”
A big concern for many operators has been staffing issues after long stretches of shutdown. Rodio acknowledged that Great Canadian have seen “a hint” of those issues and that the company has some concern as it looks to reopen food and beverage establishments, hotels, and other hospitality amenities. “That’s where the pain points will be.”
Finally, Rodio stressed that, like in his role at Caesars, his tenure will see a firm focus on responsible gaming and player protection as Canada’s industry continues to evolve.
“Caesars was at the forefront of responsible gaming going back a number of years – it’s been something they have focused on over the last 25, 30 years,” he concluded. “I can tell you that from my chair at the top in this company, that will be something that we will focus on continuously. I am confident that the company has a lot of those policies and things in place to help customers. It will be a critical initiative for us moving forward.”