Canadian casino operator Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited is reportedly set to receive a federal loan worth approximately $150.2 million to help it weather a slowdown in business brought on by the recent coronavirus pandemic.
According to a Thursday report from The Sudbury Star newspaper, the cash is due to be channeled through the nation’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility and Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation services so as to aid the firm as it endeavors to survive a nationwide coronavirus-related casino lockdown that has only recently begun to be partially lifted.
Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited is responsible for over 25 properties spread across Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia including Edmonton’s impressive Starlight Casino as well as the Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby. Robert Mitchell serves as a spokesperson for the Vancouver-headquartered company and reportedly told the newspaper that the coming funds are to be spread across its entire estate so as ‘to help us with re-opening and bringing employees back to work.’
Mitchell reportedly told The Sudbury Star…
“The money from the federal government is a loan that will be repaid. Right now, we are working hard on our plans and evaluating the viability of re-opening under the stage three guidelines and the 50-person capacity restrictions. We have developed extensive health and safety plans for each of our sites, which also include two-meter physical distancing, rigorous cleaning and sanitation measures and the mandatory use of masks for all individuals entering our gaming sites.”
The newspaper reported that Gateway Casinos and Entertainment runs twelve facilities in Ontario alone and has moreover been working on a $45 million plan that is to see it construct a new casino and entertainments facility for the northern city of Sudbury. However, this project has been continually delayed owing to local appeals with the operator now purportedly furthermore due to be subject to a coronavirus-induced provision in Canada’s most populous province that will block any more than 50 customers from simultaneously enjoying any of its establishments.
Mitchell reportedly told the newspaper…
“All of our plans have been independently reviewed by a health and safety subject matter expert and have been submitted to the regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.”