Gaming facilities left out of Paycheck Protection Program

DEADWOOD, S.D. — The Small Business Administration recently released its guidelines for its Paycheck Protection Program, which falls under the CARES Act.

Gaming facilities are not included in the guidelines, meaning that gaming employees will not receive paychecks while casinos are closed.

Deadwood is known for its gaming community and its casinos are a driving force for the local economy and tourism in the northern Black Hills. Many casino operators were relying on the paycheck protection program to keep employees and their facilities afloat during the temporary closure.

“We have no understanding of why the SBA would choose to do this and we hope it’s just a misunderstanding,” said Mike Rodman, the Executive Director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. “We hope that our congressional delegation can get this resolved so our employees can get back on the payroll and back to work.”

Last week, the Deadwood Gaming Association agreed to halt all gaming operations in order to protect the public from COVID-19. This lead to local employees being without income and some gaming facilities uneasy about the future of their business.

“We have 1,200 direct gaming employees and that equates out to about $900,000 in wages and benefits that are being lost every week that we’re closed,” says Rodman.

Millions of dollars are on the line.

“Just from the gaming alone, we’re losing just a little bit over $2 million a week and when you add in the hotel/food and beverage operations, we’re losing $3.5 million a week for every week that our properties are closed down,” says Rodman.

COVID-19 is making history, but the City of Deadwood hopes that it can weather the pandemic with its own history intact.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News