August 21, 2023 3 min read


Gateway Casinos Mourns the Loss of Visionary CEO Tony Santo

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment CEO Tony Santo passed away on August 17, 2023

The global gaming community is in shock as news broke of the unexpected passing of Tony Santo, the visionary CEO and director of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment

Gateway Casinos Bids Farewell to CEO Tony Santo

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, a prominent player in the gaming arena, confirmed the heartbreaking news. Tolek Strukoff, president of Gateway, expressed deep sorrow, saying: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tony Santo. You could often find Tony visiting sites and staff from dawn to dusk connecting about their work, families, and lives. Tony was an iconic leader in the US and Canada and grew Gateway from a small regional gaming company to one of the largest gaming companies in Canada.  However, Tony would say himself he didn’t do it – we did it together.”

Santo’s journey with Gateway commenced in 2013 when he took the reins as president and CEO, leaving an indelible mark on the company’s trajectory. By 2017, he had become a pivotal figure on the company’s board. The extent of Santo’s influence was far beyond the boardroom. He was known for his hands-on approach, frequently immersing himself in the operations and connecting with staff at all levels

A graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Santo’s expertise spanned the hospitality and gaming sectors. His leadership roles in Las Vegas earned him a reputation as an industry luminary. He eventually moved north to Canada, propelling Gateway to its present stature.

Santo announced his retirement plans in December 2019, only for the pandemic to indefinitely postpone his departure. Undeterred, he remained at the helm, guiding the company through unprecedented challenges.

Gateway Overcomes Ransomware Setback, Focuses on Data Security

Gateway, which employs around 7,000 individuals and operates thousands of slot machines and table games, faced a significant setback earlier this year due to a ransomware attack. The incident prompted a temporary closure of its Ontario casinos, raising concerns about data security. Though the company assured no guest information was compromised, the personal details of select employees were possibly accessed. A week after the attack Gateway initiated a phased reopening of its properties. 

With the incident’s aftermath, Gateway undertook a comprehensive restoration of its IT systems with support from cybersecurity experts. The breach, while unsettling, reinforced the company’s commitment to safeguarding its employees’ information. In other news, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment joined forces with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) in an affiliate marketing deal. Gateway customers in Ontario gained easy access to OLG’s iGaming and online sports betting, improving player experiences while maintaining responsible gambling practices.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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