Great Canadian Entertainment appoints new CEO

November 22, 2022 11:27 AM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
November 22, 2022 11:27 AM
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports

As Great Canadian Entertainment begins to implement in-person sports betting across 10 of its Ontario casinos, the company has a new Chief Executive Officer.

The company today announced that Anthony Rodio is retiring as CEO and director; Rodio will be replaced by Matthew Anfinson, previously the company’s chief operating officer.

“Matthew is a North American leader in our industry with a deep understanding of the business,” said Alex van Hoek, chairperson of the board of Great Canadian and partner at Apollo. “He has been responsible for driving top-line growth across all 25 of our properties and has held leadership roles in operations, marketing and analytics.”

Great Canadian also appointed Jordan Banks, a technology, sports, and media executive, as its first executive chairperson. Banks worked most recently as president of Rogers Sports & Media and as the vice president and country director of Facebook and Instagram in Canada. Banks was also CEO of JumpTV, a digital streaming company of professional-sports and international television.

Banks’ appointment is effective upon receipt of customary regulatory approvals.

Prior to joining Great Canadian, Anfinson was senior vice president of operations at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, where he was responsible for generating revenue growth for all 56 Caesars global properties. Anfinson also held executive management positions for Harrah’s in their Midwestern U.S. markets.

Great Canadian also announced the launch of in-person sports betting at 10 of its Ontario casinos. In addition, they recently launched a rewards program. The company is about to fully open Pickering Casino Resort; the gaming floor is currently operational, but the 275-room hotel, 2,500-person entertainment venue, and additional food and beverage amenities will be opening in the coming weeks. An expanded Casino Woodbine will open in 2023 with a new gaming floor, 400-room hotel, and 5,000-person entertainment venue. Once complete, Great Canadian and partners will have invested close to $2 billion in the province. Other projects and initiatives are coming down the line soon as well.

So these are busy times at Great Canadian, a company that, overall, operates 25 gaming, entertainment, and hospitality destinations in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.