Gateway Benefiting From $200M Kickstart Loan
Based in British Columbia and established in 1992, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is a private employer that operates 26 casinos and gambling venues scattered across three provinces. As such, the company employs tens of thousands of people – with many families in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, absolutely dependent on Gateway for their daily bread and butter.
Unfortunately however, since the operator was for months on end unable to do business at any of its casinos and gaming halls countrywide, the company earlier this year had no other option but to furlough at least 8,000 members of its staff force. Which is why the fact that government has extended a loan of an incredible CA$200 million to the operator for the rehiring of those employees as part of its Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF), is very welcome news indeed.
Rehiring & Reopening
In addition to the rehiring of those employees now officially out of work for over 6 months already, the operator will reportedly be free to use a portion of the money for the provincial health guidelines-compliant reopening of its casinos and gaming halls.
Several health and safety protocols will have to be implemented by all those operators and businesses hoping on a successful reopening. And since Gateway Casinos and Entertainment oversees the sheer number of operations that it does, the implementation of a government-compliant reopening strategy is expected to ultimately become a costly affair.
Considering the above, it should therefore not come as a surprise that the operator has already had to dip into a reported $60 million of the loan from government for the rehiring of staff and the pre-opening preparation of its 26 casinos and gaming halls.
Gateway Leads The Way
First announced in May this year, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is the first private employer benefiting from government’s LEEFF initiative. Only those companies with annual revenue equal to or over CA$300 million are eligible to apply for a loan financed by the government financial aid facility.
According to Gateway Casinos & Entertainment CEO Anthony Santo, the CA$200 million loan will go a long way towards kickstarting casino operations once those venues overseen by the company are re-opened.
Gateway has repeatedly expressed its concerns over the viability of it reopening its casinos in Ontario. Since the number of customers permitted inside any Ontario venue at any given time is strictly limited to 50 persons, the reopening of casinos and other gaming venues in this particular province is considered impractical from a financial point of view.