Trump administration to allow small casinos to apply for coronavirus relief loans

The Trump administration revised guidelines on Friday to allow small casinos impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to receive small business loans.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that size-eligible legal, small gaming entities can participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

In the initial package, businesses that received more than one-third of their gross annual revenue from legal gambling activities were ineligible for loans. PPP is now poised to receive an injection of $310 billion after the initial $349 billion was disbursed in less than two weeks.

President Trump was asked about small casinos not qualifying to receive small business loans in a briefing on April 8 and said he would look into it.

The American Gaming Association celebrated the revised guidelines, noting the industry group has been working “tirelessly” to change the policy.

“I’m grateful to President Trump and his administration for recognizing that commercial and tribal gaming industry employees deserve the same support available to other small businesses, and for the significant, sustained efforts of members of Congress to amplify the need for changes to the guidelines to get small gaming operators and their employees through this challenging time,” the group’s CEO Bill Miller said in a statement on Friday.