Montreal casino hopes to hit the jackpot with $305M reno

Loto-Québec will spend $305 million to fix up the Expo '67-era Montreal Casino building to help the casino keep up with its North American competition.

Loto-Québec to update look, tables, parking, restaurants

The Montreal Casino will undergo $305 million in renovations starting later this year. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Loto-Québec will spend $305 million to fix up the Expo '67-era Montreal Casino building to help the casino keep up with its North American competition.

The casino, which sits on Île-Notre-Dame in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, will undergo renovations over the next four years.

The inside decor and layout will be changed with special attention to the high rollers' section. More space will be added to the area around slot machines and gaming tables. The restaurant will be upgraded, as will the underground parking.

No new gaming tables will be added.

Loto-Québec President and CEO Alain Cousineau said the casino needs the upgrades in order to compete with other casinos in Canada and the United States.

"The general trend is for casinos to be upgraded every 10 years, more or less. Fifteen years after it first opened and with more than 90 million visits logged, it is time for the Casino de Montréal to follow suit," Cousineau said.

Casino opened in 1993 in Expo buildings

The Montreal Casino operates in the former French and Quebec pavilions built for the 1967 Montreal Expo.

The casino opened in 1993 and is considered to be one of the world's largest casinos.

It features five floors of gaming with a total of more than 115 gaming tables, 3,000 slot machines, 25 electronic poker tables, four restaurants, a performance hall and two reception halls.

Cousineau said the renovations will begin in the fall of 2009 and be completed by the end of 2013. The casino will remain open during the renovations.

Cousineau said the project would create 3,400 direct and indirect jobs.

During the four-year renovation period, Loto-Québec expects the casino's revenues will drop by a total of $34 million. Once the upgrades are completed, however, the corporation expects the casino to take in $60 million more per year.

Loto-Québec says the casino had revenues of $532 million for the 2007-08 fiscal year.