Great Canadian Entertainment appoints new chief operating and marketing officers

December 16, 2022 12:25 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
December 16, 2022 12:25 PM

The changes continue at Great Canadian Entertainment, as they position themselves for expansion in 2023.

The company announced that its current executive vice president of operations in the Greater Toronto Area, Ron Urquhart, has been promoted to chief operating officer. Gavin Whiteley has been appointed as the company’s chief marketing officer. Both executives will be based at the company’s corporate office in Toronto.

In November, the company appointed Matthew Anfinson as CEO. Anfinson had been Great Canadian’s chief operating officer.

“Ron started his career with us as a summer student in college. Over the past two decades, he has held senior leadership roles across multiple business units, helping to lead our Ontario expansions and new builds, including at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Woodbine,” Anfinson said. “Ron has a deep understanding of our business and will be an enormous asset in our next chapter of growth.”

Urquhart held senior roles across Great Canadian’s casino operations in Nova Scotia, before moving to Ontario in 2016 to open their Belleville site as general manager. He was then promoted to vice president of operations for Ontario, followed by executive vice president of operations for the GTA.

Whiteley, a native of Montreal, joins Great Canadian from Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, where he oversaw the largest loyalty program in the gaming industry for more than 50 destinations and online partnerships.

In November, Great Canadian announced the launch of in-person sports betting at 10 of its Ontario casinos. They’ve also recently launched a rewards program. The company is about to fully open Pickering Casino Resort (the gaming floor is currently open, 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 debut in 2023 (a new gaming floor, 400-room hotel, and 5,000-seat entertainment venue). Once complete, Great Canadian and partners will have invested close to $2 billion in capital in the province. Other projects and initiatives are coming down the line soon as well.

Great Canadian operates 25 gaming, entertainment, and hospitality destinations in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.