CEO queued vaccine with wife, lost job amid Apollo casino deal


The couple received the Moderna vaccine after claiming they were new employees at a motel in the area

The chief executive officer of a Canadian casino company acquired by Apollo Global Management Inc. has resigned after being approved for a trip to a remote city in northern Canada to receive a Covid-19 vaccine for violating emergency rules .

Rod Baker, who has served as CEO of Great Canadian Gaming Corp. since 2011. was charged with violating the Yukon Civil Emergency Measures Act, said Matthew Cameron, a spokesman for the Canadian Territory Cabinet Office. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and BNN Bloomberg Television previously confirmed that Baker and his wife Ekaterina Baker had been charged.

The couple arrived in Whitehorse, capital of Yukon, on Jan. 19 and traveled to Beaver Creek community two days later, in violation of a 14-day self-isolation rule, Cameron said. There they received the Moderna vaccine after claiming they were new employees at a motel in the area, the CBC reported.

The great Canadian announced the resignation of Baker on Monday and said Terrance Doyle, the company’s president for strategic growth and chief compliance officer, would meanwhile take over the position of CEO.

‘No tolerance’

“Great Canadian’s board of directors will not tolerate any activity that is contrary to the company’s goals or values,” said Chuck Keeling, a spokesman, in a statement sent via email. The company declined to comment on whether Baker’s resignation was directly related to the violations, but said it takes health and safety protocols seriously.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we as a company have primarily focused on doing everything we can to keep our employees healthy and enable our communities to fight the spread of Covid-19,” said Keeling. A representative from Apollo declined to comment because the company was not involved in the matter.


Great Canadian has agreed to be bought by Apollo of New York for approximately $ 2.5 billion ($ 2 billion). Apollo’s offer was approved by shareholders in late December after the private equity firm raised the price to attract a group of holdout investors.

Great Canadian has announced that the deal, which still requires regulatory approvals, will close in the second quarter.

A slow introduction of vaccines in Canada has put a strain on the national nerves, causing some residents to travel to the US to get their thrusts. However, the public has shown little understanding of these queues or violations of government guidelines. A number of officials, including the Ontario Treasury Secretary, were forced to resign after traveling overseas over the Christmas break.

The potential risk to the health of residents of the remote, largely indigenous areas of Canada is seen as particularly problematic given the long history of disease transmission from the south. Entire northern villages were wiped out in 1918 in the Spanish flu pandemic that came with returning soldiers from World War I.

Beaver Creek has fewer than 125 residents and is near the Alaska border.

“I am outraged by this selfish behavior,” said John Streicker, Yukon’s minister for community services, in a statement.


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