Coronavirus bailout rules preclude small casinos |

Coronavirus bailout rules preclude small casinos

A clause that precludes small casinos and their employees from receiving support under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is being challenged by the American Gaming Association.

Under interim guidelines issued by the administration, businesses whose sole income is derived from gambling are not eligible for funding.

Those small businesses that obtain more than a third of their gross revenues from legal gambling are also not eligible.

“In SBA’s efforts to quickly issue guidance on the PPP, they relied on antiquated, discriminatory regulations that ignore today’s economic reality and the congressional intent behind the CARES Act, which states that any business concern shall be eligible to receive an SBA loan if they meet specific qualifications regarding their number of employees,” American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement on Friday. “Unless amended, these initial guidelines will irreparably harm one-third of the U.S. casino industry and the hundreds of thousands of Americans that rely on gaming businesses for their livelihood.”

Casinos like the COD in Minden and Dotty’s at Stateline wouldn’t be eligible for the program, under the rules, Miller said.

“This decision will affect hard-working Americans from Pennsylvania to Nevada, Ohio to Colorado, and everywhere in between who need and deserve the same level of support as anyone across the country during these unprecedented times,” he said.

All Nevada’s casinos were closed on March 17 by Gov. Steve Sisolak in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.