AGA Asks Trump to Include Gaming Businesses in Paycheck Protection Program

  • The president and chief executive of the AGA has written a letter to President Donald Trump
  • Special program is a section of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
  • The gaming industry supports 350,000 jobs via small businesses in other industries
Financial help text on a wooden background
The American Gaming Association has asked President Trump to include gaming businesses in the Small Business Administration Payment Protection Program. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Letter sent to President Trump

The American Gaming Association (AGA) wants gaming businesses to be included in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

President and chief executive of the AGA, Bill Miller, has written a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to amend the program.

program will provide $349bn in loans to small businesses that are affected by COVID-19

The special program is a section of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Trump signed the act into law in late March.

The program will provide $349bn in loans to small businesses that are affected by COVID-19. The gambling industry was not included in businesses covered in the program.

PPP rules

The PPP has rules that businesses must meet to qualify for the loan. In the rules, it states that businesses that produce over one-third of their gross annual revenue from legal gambling are not eligible to apply for loans.

The AGA aired concerns this week about the lack of help for the gambling industry. The group sent a letter to the Small Business Association and the United States Department of Treasury. Miller took his efforts one step further by approaching President Trump.

In the letter, Miller said: “The gaming industry is an important economic engine, job creator, and taxpayer in 43 states. We share your overriding interest in employees retaining their jobs so they can get back to work quickly once this situation has subsided.”

Miller pointed out that laid-off employees will file for unemployment and Medicaid. Employees are better off if they stay connected to their employer. This approach will provide long-term benefits to the US economy.

Supporting small business jobs

Miller pointed out further in the letter that small gambling businesses need support for their staff. On top of that financial need, the gaming industry supports 350,000 jobs via small businesses in other industries.

the gaming industry supports 350,000 jobs via small businesses in other industries

The loans would also help these employees. Miller said that it is the right thing to do to make the resources of the Small Business Administration available to size-eligible gaming businesses.

Similar problem in the UK

In the United Kingdom, a similar problem exists involving gambling companies and relief efforts. A business rate relief effort introduced in the UK provides help to ease the financial strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the program excludes the gaming industry.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) wrote a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, in an effort to help the sector. The BGC provided alternative options for the government to help the gaming industry during this difficult time.