Industry Veteran Rodio Becomes Great Canadian CEO as Apollo Global Takes Over

Posted on: September 22, 2021, 11:48h. 

Last updated on: September 23, 2021, 08:19h.

Great Canadian Gaming Corp. announced on Wednesday that veteran industry executive Tony Rodio will be the Toronto-based company’s new CEO.

Tony Rodio GCGC
Then-Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio speaks at the December 2019 grand opening of Caesars Southern Indiana. On Wednesday, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation announced Rodio would serve as the company’s new CEO. (Image:

Rodio has nearly 40 years of experience in the gaming industry. He served as the CEO of Caesars Entertainment in the lead-up to its acquisition by Eldorado Resorts. After that $17.3 billion deal closed and Eldorado’s Tom Reeg became the CEO of the new Caesars, Rodio became a consultant to the merged entity. His role in that capacity included advising the company on its $500 million casino project in Danville, Va.

Before his work with Caesars, Rodio served as the CEO of Affinity Gaming and the president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment.

He now takes over a company with 25 facilities across Canada. His arrival comes just months after all but one of the company’s gaming venues were closed for extended periods earlier this year because of COVID-19 protocols in the country.

“Great Canadian is an incredible gaming and entertainment franchise and I’m excited to lead the Company as we continue to safely welcome back team members and guests across the country,” he said in a statement.

Besides serving as CEO, Rodio will also hold a seat on the company’s board of directors.

GCGC Chair: Rodio a “Most Accomplished Executive”

GCGC Board Chairman Alex van Hoek, who also serves as a partner with Apollo Global Management, said in the release that the company is happy to have Rodio join the team.

Tony is one of the industry’s most accomplished executives, and we are confident that his experience leading businesses through transformative periods of innovation and growth will help to take Great Canadian to new heights,” he said.

He takes over for interim CEO Terrance Doyle, who stepped into that role in January after Rod Baker resigned as president, CEO, and board member.

Baker’s departure coincided with Apollo assuming control of the company after a $1.9 billion takeover and Canadian officials charging Baker and his wife for breaking isolation and receiving COVID-19 vaccine shots under false pretenses in the Yukon Territory.

Doyle led the company through the shutdowns and reopenings. He will now serve as the national president for business development. That position reports straight to the board and will help the board on new market opportunities, including those in the Greater Toronto Area.

Apollo Completes GCGC Stock Buy

Rodio’s ascension to the CEO spot came on the same day that Apollo Global completed its acquisition of the Candian gaming operator.

“Together with Apollo and my management team, we see tremendous opportunity to build on Great Canadian’s leading market position, improving the guest experience and entering new channels for growth, with a continuous focus on the importance of our relationships with our Crown agencies and other key stakeholders,” Rodio added.

Apollo made several overtures to the company, and in December boosted its offer to CAD 45 (USD 35.45).

The new ownership announced that it had completed the acquisition of all outstanding common stock shares. With the acquisition now closed, Great Canadian’s stock is no longer listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.