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Great Canadian appoints Anfinson as new CEO


Land-based gaming and entertainment business Great Canadian Entertainment has named Matthew Anfinson as its new chief executive following confirmation that Anthony Rodio is to retire.

Rodio has led the business as CEO since May 2019 but will now step down from the role to take retirement.

Anfinson who has served as chief operating officer at Great Canadian since he joined the business, will move into the position.

Prior to his time with Great Canadian, Anfinson spent more than seven years with Caesars Entertainment, first serving as vice president and executive associate to the chief marketing officer, before a spell as senior vice president of operations.

Anfinson also spent time as vice president of finance at Harrah’s St. Louis, director of finance for Horseshoe Casino director finance at Caesars Atlantic City and also planning and analysis manager for Harrah’s Council Bluffs.

“It is an enormous privilege to lead Great Canadian Entertainment, especially at this defining juncture of the company as we set a new industry standard for gaming and entertainment in Canada,” Anfinson said.

“We are incredibly excited to bring to market what will be among the premier casino resorts in North America in 2023 with the projects currently underway at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Woodbine, as well as new innovative programs and initiatives that will drive growth at our other properties and in local communities across the country.

“We remain focused on continuously enhancing the overall experience for our guests, delivering long-term growth and value creation for our stakeholders, and doing so in a socially responsible way.”

Great Canadian chairperson Alex van Hoek added: “We are pleased to name Matthew as CEO, whom we are excited to have led Great Canadian in its next chapter. Matthew is a North American leader in our industry with a deep understanding of the business.

“On behalf of the board, the management team and Great Canadian’s team members, we also want to thank Tony for his outstanding leadership. Tony has guided the company through a transformative period of recovery and growth, while navigating the industry-wide challenges of Covid-19.

“His contributions to Great Canadian will be valued by the Company, our team members and our guests for many years to come.”

Meanwhile, it was also announced that Jordan Banks was appointed as the first executive chairperson of Great Canadian. Banks is an experienced technology, sports and media executive, having spent time with Rogers Sports & Media, JumpTV and Facebook.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Jordan to ensure that Great Canadian continues to up the ante for gaming and entertainment in Canada, creating a positive impact for all our stakeholders – including the company’s guests, our team, and local communities across the country,” said Banks.

“Jordan’s track record of leadership, coupled with his vast experience in sports, technology and media, make him the ideal person to take on this new, valued position.”

The appointments come after Great Canadian last month announced that it will launch new sports betting at its venues through a partnership with Kambi.

As part of the deal, Kambi will provide its retail sportsbook product to ten of Great Canadian Entertainment’s Ontario-based casinos. This includes Kambi’s sportsbook solution, as well as betting kiosks.