Gateway Casinos & Entertainment recently received CA$200 million as a loan from the Federal Government and there are individuals opposing this decision. MP Pierre Poilievre recently voiced his opinion in the House of Commons, claiming that the casino operator is a “failing casino firm” taking advantage of taxpayers’ cash. He went back and forth with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the subject.
It could be recalled that the last days of September saw the leading casino operator bag the hefty cheque in accordance with the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility agenda. The Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation wanted to see the first large loan make its way to Gateway Casinos providing it with some CA$200 million of liquidity.
MP Pierre Poilievre
Following more than half a year of no in-person gaming in its casino facilities, the operator commenced its gradual reopening process. This week saw the official relaunch of almost all brick-and-mortar casinos in Ontario, overseen by Gateway Casinos and the only exception is Casino Rama Resort which will remain closed for the time being.
The loan is going to be used for improving the overall situation of the casino leader and for the reopening process that is currently in progress. While this is happening, officials expressed their concerns regarding the process of loan lending. The Conservative MP recently claimed that the casino operator swindled the Prime Minister out of the CA$200 million in question, money coming from the taxpayers of Canada.
Mr. Poilievre also pointed out that the casino operator has recently been downgraded when its parent company lost some 95 percent of its value on the stock market. It is currently delisted, but working towards becoming public. For years now, Gateway Casinos works towards being listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Poilievre also said that financial experts in Toronto have come to the conclusion that its assets are overvalued.
Discord in the House of Commons
In response to the claims, Robert Mitchell, Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Gateway Casinos, said that there are some inaccuracies. They have been discussed with Mr. Poilievre’s office and have been corrected since then. He pointed out that the LEEFF funding is going to be repaid once normal operation commences and the casino operator has enough liquidity to do so safely.
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 in a gradual manner. These venues will have to meet all local and provincial health guidelines, while also supporting staff members, as many of them will have to remain home for the time being. In Ontario, the in-person gambling limit is set at 50 patrons indoors.
Projections are that Casino Rama Resort will resume daily operation in the foreseeable future, now that all Gateway Casinos venues in Ontario are working. 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.