Tony Santo, the iconic leader and CEO of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, passed away unexpectedly. Santo, who took the helm in 2013 and was appointed a Director in 2017, leaves behind a remarkable legacy in the gaming industry, both in Canada and the United States. His commitment to establishing Gateway as a premier entertainment and gaming company was unwavering.
A Respected Leader
Tony was more than just a colleague and leader; he was a friend to many. Known for his hands-on leadership style, he was often seen visiting various sites from morning to evening, engaging with staff about their work, personal lives, and families.
His leadership extended beyond the confines of the office, fostering a strong sense of unity among the employees. Despite his significant contributions to Gateway’s growth, from a regional gaming enterprise to one of Canada’s largest gaming companies, offering a wide array of games such as Live Poker and Baccarat among others, he was humble in his achievements, often crediting the collective effort of the team for the company’s success.
In an official statement, a Gateway representative said, “Tony was an inspiring leader, a valuable colleague, and a dear friend. His absence will be strongly felt by all of us at Gateway. Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Santo family.”
Industry Reactions and Responses
The news of Santo’s sudden departure has also sent shockwaves through the broader gambling industry. The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) expressed its sorrow over Santo’s passing and extended its condolences to the Santo family and all employees of Gateway.
Prominent gaming industry figure, Jasper Smith, a close associate of Santo, shared his thoughts on the remarkable leader. He said, “Tony was a visionary, someone who could see the potential in people and ideas. His contributions to Gateway and the wider gaming industry are truly immeasurable. His presence will be deeply missed, but his legacy will continue to inspire and motivate those who had the chance to work with him.”
Tony Santo was a pillar of the gaming industry and will be remembered fondly for his unwavering leadership. He is survived by his wife, two children, and four grandchildren. Our thoughts are with Tony’s family during this difficult time.