Gateway Casinos and Entertainment bagged a hefty cheque coming from the Government of Canada and aiming to support its ongoing business. Some CA$200 million is going to be loaned to the casino leader based in British Columbia. The support comes in accordance with the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility agenda.
Supporting large companies and protecting their well-being are among the priorities of the government since the unprecedented situation has taken its toll on many of them. The casino operator founded in 1992 oversees gaming facilities in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia and many of them have been closed for business ever since March. The privately held company is now eligible for support coming from the Government of Canada.
The Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation recently made it clear that its first loan is going to support one of Canada’s casino operators following the tough situation over the past half a year. The financial support will amount to some CA$200 million of liquidity that will be used for improving the overall situation of the casino leader.
It has been confirmed that the loan will be used for the rehiring of its 8,000 casino staff members that had been laid off earlier this year and had remained so for more than six months. Gateway Casinos oversees a total of 26 casino venues and gambling halls across the three provinces and this financial support is projected to aid their official reopening over the upcoming months. These venues will have to meet all local and provincial health guidelines.
This includes the various safety protocols that will have to be introduced on their premises, a costly approach aiming to protect both casino employees and casino patrons making their way there. All of the casinos have worked on their reopening plans and have been in the process of their implementation over the past months.
It could be recalled that the program was first introduced in May as the Government of Canada wanted to find ways in which it could support large employers during these trying times. Some companies have expressed their interest in benefitting from it, but they have not received support for the time being. Companies eligible for this type of support have not had their needs met through conventional financing.
Gateway Casinos is the first beneficiary of the emergency financing program. It should be noted that some CA$60 million of the overall support has already been drawn and it is being used for the aforementioned preparation of the casino locations and for the rehiring of the individuals directly affected by lockdown. Companies with revenue of CA$300 million and more are eligible for this Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility support.
Anthony Santo, Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Casinos, stated that the CA$200 million will kickstart regular casino operation once this is sustainable enough in accordance with the regulations in each province. Ontario remains problematic for the casino operator, as it prohibits casinos from welcoming more than 50 individuals at all times.