Canadian gaming and entertainment operator Gateway Casinos has secured CA$200m of liquidity to protect jobs across its roster of 26 gaming properties.

This has been achieved through the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation’s first loan under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility

CEEFC is a subsidiary of Canada Development Investment Corporation, both of which have been mandated to assist the Government of Canada as part of the country’s COVID-19 economic response plan.

The LEEFF is intended to supply bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. It provides large employers with access to credit in order to preserve jobs and continue operations.

“LEEFF was created to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, and to help protect Canadian jobs during a period of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty,” stated David Mansell, CEO, Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corp

“With this first loan, we are supporting thousands of Gateway employees and their families by providing the company with the liquidity it needs to begin to resume operations and return to profitability.” ­

Gateway Casinos operates 26 properties in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, and counts an 8,000 strong employee roster. The loan will enable the firm to start bringing employees back on board as properties reopen in accordance with local and provincial guidelines

“COVID-19 closed businesses across Canada, with the hospitality and entertainment sectors severely affected. It hit our employees and their families and communities hard,” explained Anthony Santo, CEO of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited

“The LEEFF financing will support restarting our operations and returning people to work when it is safe and viable to do so. We are appreciative of the LEEFF program and, through a successful and sustainable restart of operations, we will bring jobs back and begin the work of repaying the LEEFF facility.”