Update from Gold Rush Gaming on COVID-19

by Max Lapthorne

First and foremost, we hope that you and all your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.

In response to Governor Pritzker’s extension of the “Stay at Home” order, the Illinois Gaming Board has extended the suspension of statewide video gaming and casino gambling operations until further notice. We want you to know that the health and safety of our partners, our employees, and our greater communities is top priority and at the heart of every decision we make.

For the last few weeks, Gold Rush has been preparing for all possible scenarios related to COVID-19 and ensuring the right plans and resources are in place, defined principally by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Gaming Board. We believe it is critical to do our part to help reduce the transmission of this virus.

Here are some of the steps we are taking to protect everyone in this ever-evolving situation.

  1. Our team was working tirelessly to visit every location to clean and sanitize the VGTs and the gaming area surrounding them before the shutdown. We will resume cleaning once allowed, prior to the shelter order being lifted.
  2. We have implemented enhanced health and safety measures to ensure the protection of our teams across all our offices and warehouses.
  3. A new email address has been created for those who have specific questions or need help applying for the grant and loans programs – support@goldrushgaming.com
  4. Our website and social media channels will continue to be updated with the latest industry updates and will serve as a source of support and solutions.
  5. Our relationship manager team will be contacting all our partners this upcoming week to make sure everyone is prepared for when the shelter order is lifted.

There is new information for financial relief that could help all our partners during this time. Specifically, there are updates regarding the return of wine and spirits, as well as the Paycheck Protection Program. Please read the latest updates in State and Federal financial relief programs as well as the link the to the full IGB press release.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

Required Face Masks

Under the Executive Order, restaurants will not be allowed to resume dining until June 1. There are also new safety rules for essential businesses including requirements for face masks. Click here to read.

Return of Wine & Spirits

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) has allowed for the return of wine and spirits sold and delivered by a distributor to a retailer based on ten conditions. Click here to read.

Workplace Safety Guidelines

A new safety requirement mandates that all Illinois businesses that have employees physically reporting must have a specific guidance poster displayed. Click here to view poster.

STATE & FEDERAL RELIEF

Paycheck Protection Program

​Congress has allocated an additional $349 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that includes more funding for small businesses. Revised regulatory guidelines have also been introduced that will now allow all size-eligible gaming entities to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program.

​We encourage our partners to work with their banker or accountant to request assistance with PPP loans or inquire about the status of an application that has already been submitted. Click here for more information.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

Businesses with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3M in revenue can apply to receive a low interest loan up to $50K with a 5-year repayment. There will be no payments for 6 months to support your business. Click here to apply.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

Local governments can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or fewer in downstate and rural counties across Illinois to secure grants of up to $25K for working capital (rent, payroll and accounts payable). We encourage our partners to check if their business is in an eligible area. For those who qualify, please work with your local government to submit an application which were to be available starting Friday, March 27. Click here to apply.

MORE RELIEF ASSISTANCE

Return of Wine & Spirits

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) has authorized the return of wine and spirits sold and delivered by a distributor to a retailer based on ten conditions. This rule change is part of the series of regulatory changes the IRA has urged ILCC to make over the past month that will directly benefit restaurants and bars. Click here to learn more.

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing extraordinary hardship in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. Grants will be awarded as soon as possible to those individuals who meet the prescribed eligibility criteria, as reviewed and verified by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). Click here to apply.

Restaurant Strong Fund

The Greg Hill Foundation and Samuel Adams have teamed up to launch the Restaurant Strong Fund. This Fund is offering $1,000 to restaurant workers in 20 states, including Illinois. If you know of any employees struggling during this time, we encourage you to send them the application. Click here to learn more.

Suspension of Renewal Fees

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Illinois Gaming Board has suspended April license renewal fees. The fees are to be due 10 business days after the IGB resumes statewide gaming activity.

Business Counselor Services

For business owners who find themselves in need of a business counselor to help them navigate this difficult time, organizations such as the local Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center or SCORE mentorship chapter are there to assist. Click here to find help.

If you have any questions about these latest industry updates or relief programs, please email us at info@goldrushgaming.com or support@goldrushgaming.com. The entire Gold Rush Gaming Family looks forward to reopening and serving our partners and customers soon.

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