casino hotel montreal loto-québec

Casino de Montreal Hotel Plans in $150 Million Revamp

Plans to create a $150 million, 200-room hotel on the casino’s grounds in Parc Jean-Drapeau are well underway.

The Canadian betting industry is highly competitive, and the growing popularity of online betting has encouraged some operators to take steps to safeguard the future of retail casinos.

Keeping up with the latest trends and providing a good customer journey is essential for any business, and the fast-paced nature of the betting industry means that regular changes are commonplace for online and retail betting operators. However, brick-and-mortar businesses have additional expenses that add additional pressure and the Casino de Montreal is taking steps to increase revenue.

Plans to create a $150 million, 200-room hotel on the casino’s grounds in Parc Jean-Drapeau are well underway with a timeline of two or three years for the project to be complete with tenders for the design process being welcomed.

While no designs have been approved, the casino did release a statement saying the project would be a low-height hotel that would complement the surrounding area without compromising its natural beauty.

The new hotel would be a great addition to an excellent facility, and should also help the casino compete against online alternatives.

It is widely believed in the gambling industry that fears of online betting sites cannibalizing the betting industry are unfounded, with space for both options in the industry.

There is no doubt that the in-person betting experience differs greatly from online betting options, but new sites are beginning to offer far more immersive betting experiences. Online casino expert Jonathan Askew explains that generous bonuses and great new games are enticing new bettors all the time.

Consumers can enjoy state-of-the-art slot games that incorporate developing technology to improve gameplay. Bettors can also enjoy live casino games online with real dealers.

Fully licensed online casinos provide customers with peace of mind when betting and crypto gambling sites can also offer instant payouts.

The main draw of online betting is its convenience thanks to the proliferation of mobile device use in Canada. Dedicated mobile sites and betting apps guarantee a great selection of betting markets for consumers, and the improving mobile network infrastructure has also been beneficial.

Despite these threats to the retail casino industry, there is still a demand for the thrill and excitement of a night in a casino, and operators are looking at additional ways to create revenue.

Rising overheads including staffing costs, energy bills, and the maintenance and running of additional leisure and dining facilities are concerning to operators. 

Attracting consumers to retail premises is not only beneficial to the operators themselves but also to the countless other businesses that they impact. This includes neighbouring businesses that benefit from increased footfall and public transport and taxi services.

The casino hotel is expected to enjoy great success when it opens to the public with the casino welcoming millions of visitors every year as one of the city’s top tourist attractions.

Despite confidence in the proposed hotel’s success, business plans were drawn up based on a 75% occupancy rate. However, Moshe Lander, the economics professor at Concordia University has cast doubts over whether the plans are big enough, fearing they may have aimed too low.

Despite the obvious benefits a new hotel would bring to the area including employment and construction work, there is opposition to the project.

Craig Sauvé, a Montreal city councillor has spoken out about the potential noise levels that increased traffic to the area would bring. He fears it could disrupt the atmosphere of the Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Montreal’s Mayor Valerie Plante has spoken out in defence of the plan, explaining that the hotel would not be built on public land, one of the concerns that locals have.

The land earmarked for development is already owned by Loto-Quebec, the regulatory corporation that oversees gaming and lottery in the province.

The present Casino de Montréal is housed in two buildings that were created for Expo 67 and has been in operation since 1993. The owners and operators of the Casino de Montréal is a Loto-Québec subsidiary called Société des casinos du Québec and all profits from the casino go back into the Government of Quebec.

The opening of a luxury hotel will be a much-welcome boost to the hotel that has faced some setbacks in recent years, including the decision to no longer offer a 24-hour service. Instead, the casino moved to a 3 AM weekday and 5 AM weekend closing time for the first time since 1997.

2021 also saw the closure of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, the casino’s restaurant. Whether the new hotel will see a return of fine dining to the resort remains to be seen, but it will certainly open up the conversation.

Despite issues like restaurant closures, the casino still has more than 3000 slot machines as well as 120 gaming tables with a maximum capacity of 4,000. It also features a large cabaret hall that seats up to 500 people who can enjoy entertainment and refreshments.

One reason the professor might have these opinions is due to a joint study with the Universite Laval that showed an increase in bettors in Montreal. The study showed an increase from approximately 5% of locals betting online in 2018 to 15% in 2021. 

The study also shows that 60% of Canada’s population bets every month, making it a popular activity amongst consumers.

It is clear that the online betting industry offers significant benefits to consumers and operators. Customers can save money on travel and bet when and where they choose while taking advantage of enticing bonuses and offers. Operators can significantly cut back on overheads associated with physical properties and even begin to streamline processes with machine learning and AI developments.

Despite these clear advantages, many consumers still love the unbeatable casino atmosphere and there will always be a place for live betting in the industry. Competitive gamblers can also benefit from being able to see their competitors in the flesh rather than seeing a username on a screen.

Online betting is here to stay, and the Casino de Montreal’s plans to open a luxury hotel could be a wise business move, helping to create an experience that can’t be replicated elsewhere.