Gateway Casinos Get CA$200 Million for Operational Kickstart
Canada’s federal government continues to support industries hardest hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with a CA$200 million loan issued to the British Columbia based casino heavyweight, Gateway Casinos.
Gateway Casinos scored a hefty loan of CA$200 million from the Canadian government, which it aims to direct towards the support of its ongoing business. The financial incentive is part of the federal government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility, which is a broad-based support vehicle for industry segments left in distress due to the ongoing pandemic.
Support of large companies has been at the forefront of the government’s drive to cushion the impact of the current economic crisis. Gateway Casinos, which was established in 1992, is a leading provider of gambling services in Canada. Its facilities in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario have been closed since March, making it eligible for government support.
Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation Loan
Canada’s Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation recently issued a statement, throwing its support behind the casino industry and earmarking its first loan in support of the gambling market segment. The subsequent issuing of the CA$200 million loan will be used to improve the overall situation of Gateway Casinos and help it meet its financial obligations.
With the aid of the loan, Gateway Casinos will be in a position to rehire 8,000 employees that were laid off earlier this year. The casino provider will also use the funds to boost safety protocols at its facilities, to protect both its staff and clients. Each of the 26 individual casinos that are part of the group have already created their reopening plans of action.
Ongoing Federal Support
Government’s incentive programme was first launched in May, with many companies applying for funding. The government has, however, been selective with grants, focusing only on large corporations, whose annual revenue exceeds CA$300 million, that could not meet their existing obligations via conventional means.
As the first beneficiary of the programme, Gateway Casinos already received CA$60 million from their total allocation, which it will use to enhance safety protocols at its venues, as well as to rehire some of its former employees.
According to Anthony Santo, the CEO of Gateway Casinos, the company plans to utilise its loan to jumpstart its operations once this becomes sustainable enough and is in line with individual provincial regulations. For the time being, Ontario remains problematic for the casino operator, since it only allows up to 50 patrons inside any facility, at any given time.