Casino News Roundup: Ritz Losses, Toronto Waterfront, Japan Market

Ritz Hotel Casino London Toronto waterfront casino Caesars online casino

From London to Toronto to Japan, this week’s casino news takes us on a trip around the world. Here are the biggest headlines of the week in case you missed some of the big stories:

London’s Ritz Hotel Casino Reports Huge Losses  

It’s been a rough stretch for London’s Ritz Hotel Casino. They surprised a number of people recently by reporting a huge loss. The London Ritz Hotel Casino, which is owned by the Barclay brothers, lost a reported $15.3 million last year. This comes on the heels of a successful 2016 when the casino pulled in just over $11 million in profits. 

The levels of traffic at the casino venue were relatively similar in the two years, according to the casino, but larger payouts to visitors represented the source of the change in profit margin from a hefty gain to an even more substantial loss.  

The Ritz Hotel has a long and proud history in London. The casino was added in 1977 and the Barclay family purchased it in 1995. There have been rumors that the Barclay brothers might want to sell the Ritz Club, which represents the gambling portion of the hotel venue, but the brothers have been largely mum on the subject and have not committed to any decision.

Ford’s Non-Answer Revives Waterfront Casino Talk  

Ontario Premier Doug Ford isn’t saying much about a possible way to spruce up the downtown Toronto waterfront but sometimes silence is a key tell.  

As recently as 2013, then-city councilor Ford backed a casino project near the waterfront. It was well-known that he and his brother – the former mayor of the city – were hoping to pave the way for a waterfront revival but the casino became a hot-button issue that got bogged down in politics. While current mayor John Tory is against it, Ford is now the premier of Ontario and has more power to make something happen. 

When asked about pursuing a downtown casino, Ford didn’t deny anything, which is what has sparked the casino conversation once again. Rumors have surfaced that he’s been privately thinking about reviving the idea for some time. The usual players like Caesars, Mohegan Sun and a number of others will be interested if they’re ever given a chance to operate, as a downtown casino in Toronto will be a cash cow. However, there are significant hurdles to clear before any of this becomes close to a reality. 

Caesars Aims For 100-Year Partnership With Japan

Another part of the world where operators are lining up is Japan. Gambling has now been approved in the country but licenses have yet to be handed out. That’s why all of the operators are putting on their best show. 

Caesars Entertainment is trying to separate itself from the crowd by offering up a 100-year partnership with the country. Japanese value loyalty quite a bit, so Caesars is offering this as a selling point in hopes they get selected as one of the operators that gets a license. They’ve also spent $223,000 on responsible gaming initiatives in the country in hopes of building more goodwill. They are looking like one of the early favorites to land a deal.