The Federal Government of the US finally decided to give the local casino industry some more relaxed measures it has been asking for.
A few days ago, the American Gaming Association revealed that the small casino operators that were forced to cease operations because of the coronavirus pandemic are not eligible to apply for some financial help through the Paycheck Protection Program. Some members of the Congress have described this as great progress for tribal casinos.
As revealed a few days ago by the American Gaming Association on Capitol Hill, the rules allowing for small casino gaming operators to take part in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were revised by the Small Business Administration. A total of $349 billion were shared out by the aforementioned program with small businesses across the country before another $321 billion came as a refill of the program a week ago. The piece of legislation to change the PPP rules was signed by President Donald Trump on April 24th.
On April 27th, the fresh funds could be accessed by companies that were unable to take advantage of them on the first round on the so-called forgivable loans. The Paycheck Protection Program is focused on helping small businesses keep their staff by offering up to $10 million.
Tribal Casinos Could Be the Biggest Winners of the PPP Rules Change
The previous rules for the PPP funds distribution excluded small companies for which legal gambling operations accounted for more than one-third of their revenue, but under the new rules, no cap for legal gambling revenue has been included.
Recently, the former regime was criticized by the AGA under the claims that those rules prohibited many gambling operators with fewer than 500 employees to participate in the PPP funds distribution. Progress was made in the middle of April, but Bill Miller, CEO of the AGA explained at the time that the initial changes fell “woefully short”.
The previously existing rules excluded many small casino venues owned and operated by tribal governments, which is exactly why tribal casinos have been considered the ones that could draw the largest benefits from the change. The PPP, which is part of the $2-trillion CARES Act, provides small local companies with forgivable loans in case they meet certain conditions, such as using the money to pay their employees.
Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema and Representative Tom O’Halleran revealed they were among the supporters of the change under which tribal casinos are treated just like other small businesses. According to Senator Sinema, the exclusion of gambling services from important funds aimed at relieving the negative consequences of the coronavirus situation was not acceptable. Ms. Sinema further shared that she was happy with the decision of the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration to change the rules so that Tribal communities are fully able to access the PPP.