Change is constant
So back to where this lead, some have also told me that taking as long as it has may drive changes in who is interested in becoming operators in Ontario. This is a very valid point and the list of those bidding might well and likely will be different then it would have been back when this started in March, 2012. Remember though, the last four years have seen big changes in the money markets that collaborative efforts depend on for financing. Mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy protection all play a part in corporate direction and decision-making. It brings to mind that old saying by Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change,” that is still relevant today. Let’s also remember that time wasn’t the only enemy of success, clarity needed to be sought and that involved engagement with municipalities across the province. So in many cases as the fog lifted on communities’ willingness, or lack thereof, to participate, some potential players felt differently about the opportunity. That was to be expected. I am positive that those participating with the remaining bundles up for grabs will achieve modernization’s objective handily.
Improved customer experience
As someone now on the other side of the process, I am still excited by the potential to serve the customers of gaming in Ontario better then the current structure could do. Investments in the bricks and mortar, expansion of amenities, the addition of table games and slots along with the placement of new facilities for the convenience of customers will go a long way to improving the customer experience that in turn will drive loyalty.
One of many upsides that operators will quickly recognize as improving the value proposition of their significant investments is the fact that current gaming employees in Ontario get it when it comes to delivering outstanding customer service. You can’t (OK, actually you can) but a price tag on already having a superior service culture as opposed to having to start from scratch. Remember, as it relates to gaming, the employees are the secret sauce in this transaction — they might well be the answer to how Cadbury gets the liquid in its chocolate bar, metaphorically speaking.
Experts say it takes five-plus years to change the culture of a company. That just won’t be required here. Sure, new folks will make adjustments to ensure that practices align with their corporation’s culture but OLG and resort employees have demonstrated that they are very adaptable to change. The added bonus is that relationships have been established and nurtured for over 20 years in the province. New operators will quickly discovery that they won’t have to fix what isn’t broken they will simply build their success on its solid foundation. Granted, they might say it’s what they bought and they will be more then right. The good news is that they can now invest training and development money in areas that will take the employees and managers to the next level to better suit the enhanced product offering and amenities that they will now be delivering to customers.