CGA Advocates for CEWS Extension
Last March, Canada’s gaming industry, in an unprecedented move, shut down its land-based facilities to protect employees and customers from COVID-19. One year later, we are still treading water, as many employees have not returned to work and casinos remain closed or only partially open.
The Canadian Employment Wage Support (CEWS) program has benefited many companies across the country. Unfortunately, private sector casino operators and bingo hall owners across Canada have not been able to access the program as they have limited revenues at this time and have been preserving resources to prepare for reopening.
The CGA is recommending that the CEWS be extended and made available to organizations until the end of 2021 to provide support as they bring back employees and work to restore their businesses. Each province will have different opening dates for different sectors. Providing this assurance to our industry that they will have access to the CEWS program until the end of this year will enable them to have certainty in planning and in bringing workers back.
BCGEU collaborated with Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, which owns several properties in British Columbia, on a video to highlight the plight of the province’s casino industry. It is the only jurisdiction in North America not to reopen its casinos in the past year.
We will continue to advocate with the Federal government on behalf of our industry. In conjunction with organizations in the hospitality and tourism sectors we are reaching out MPs and Ministers to voice our need for a CEWS extension.
The CGA has organized a roundtable on March 31, 2021 with Conservative MP Tony Baldinelli, Special Advisor to Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole for Tourism Recovery. If you are interested in participating, please contact the CGA. Stay tuned for more updates.