Alerts and Updates

Small Business Administration Updates Interim Regulatory Guidelines to Greatly Expand Accessibility of Paycheck Protection Program Loans to Gaming Businesses

April 24, 2020

The SBA guidelines further note that its newly adopted position “is more consistent with the policy aim of making PPP loans available to a broad segment of U.S. businesses.”

On April 24, 2020, the casino industry received some much-needed good news from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Specifically, the SBA issued revised regulatory guidelines for the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that now make PPP loans available to small gaming businesses previously precluded from the program because of restrictions on gambling-based revenue, but otherwise met the eligibility requirements. The new guidelines provide that “[a] business that is otherwise eligible for a PPP Loan is not rendered ineligible due to its receipt of legal gaming revenues, and 13 CFR 120.100(g) [which bars most gaming companies from receiving SBA loans] is inapplicable to PPP loans.” Like all small businesses under the CARES Act, the gaming establishments must have fewer than 500 employees, or else they will not qualify for the PPP loan. The SBA guidelines further note that its newly adopted position “is more consistent with the policy aim of making PPP loans available to a broad segment of U.S. businesses.”

This is the second time the SBA has revised its position on the eligibility of gaming companies to receive PPP loans. Since the passage of the CARES Act, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has continually advocated for the inclusion of gaming companies in the PPP loan program, and it appears that Congress has finally heeded the call. According to AGA CEO Bill Miller, “our allies have fought tirelessly to correct the Small Business Administration’s antiquated policy that precluded gaming companies from qualifying for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program.” Miller went on to say that “we are pleased that the new regulatory guidelines released today make small gaming companies eligible for this critical program just as Congress has replenished its funding.” With President Trump’s signing of the new funding package on April 24, 2020, which includes an additional $310 billion in funds allocated to the PPP, the gaming industry can finally receive the financial assistance that was envisioned by the CARES Act.

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