Bill Miller, AGA CEO comments on the most recent guidelines regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.
CEO Bill Miller Comments on the Updated PPP
Bill Miller CEO of American Gaming Association (AGA) commented on the release of the updated guidelines for the regulation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The CARES act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) which was signed by President Donald Trump in March 2020 is the government response towards the coronavirus pandemic.
The PPP is actually a part of the CARES act and aims to support businesses with their expenses during the difficult times of the pandemic. The main focus of the PPP is to prevent the businesses from dismissing their staff by keeping them employed. As a part of the PPP the government planned to offer some $349 billion in loans for the businesses affected by the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
Updated Measures Seem More Like Half-Measures, says AGA
The initial guidelines for participation in the Payment Protection Program, the SBA commented that suppliers “deriving more than one-third of gross annual revenue from legal gambling activities” could not take part in the program. With the most recent update, businesses that receive income from legal gambling will be allowed to apply for the PPP. Although the revised guidelines show a will to make the application process, Miller had to object, arguing that:
While these changes represent some progress, they fall woefully short of fully addressing antiquated, discriminatory policies that have, to date, restricted small gaming companies from accessing critical loan support made available through the CARES Act.”
Miller deemed the current PPP to be a “half-measure” that effectively leaves the businesses and small companies closed without any support from the government during these hard times.
The Gambling Industry in Need of Support
This is not the first time that AGA CEO has criticized the Payment Protection Program. In a statement from last week, and in light of the current emergency situation, Miller noted that the United States gambling industry as well as thousands of workers and business owners would most likely suffer due to the PPP guidelines. In the same scope of business, AGA even contacted President Trump last week.
Due to the spread of the virus, some 989 tribal and commercial casinos were closed in the nationwide leaving millions of workers at risk. Needless to say, that the hefty taxes paid by the gaming industry have so far supported many of the country’s structures. In his recent statement, Miller also added: “The American Gaming Association is grateful for the leadership of a significant group of bipartisan, bicameral members of Congress who have advocated tirelessly for equal treatment of small commercial and tribal gaming operations in their communities“.