Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) is going to receive a $500m loan from the Provincial Government.
With Ontario’s state of emergency shuttering casinos, slot machines, and racetracks for the past two months, the gaming monopoly was in dire need of a cash injection.
Finance Minister Rod Phillips’ office said the Ontario Financing Authority “is providing OLG with a line of credit to temporarily support OLG’s operational costs and help meet its contractual obligations over the short-term.”
“This is consistent with the OFA’s role and helps ensure that OLG’s casino operations can resume quickly and generate revenues that are used by the province to help fund important priorities that benefit the people of Ontario, such as health care, education, and local schools,” Phillips’ office said.
“The government is confident that OLG will be able to repay its line of credit once the government loosens emergency measures and it is safe and responsible to reopen gaming sites. OLG will remain in contact with public health authorities to determine when it is safe for its facilities to reopen.”
Ontario Lottery and Gaming spokesman Tony Bitonti confirmed that “a credit facility is part of OLG’s contingency planning during the pandemic period.”
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OLG has closed all provincial casinos which has reduced OLG revenue streams by more than half,” Bitonti said.
“During this same period, OLG’s financial obligations continue, including contractual payments to casino operators, and other stakeholders such as Ontario First Nations and the horse racing industry,” he added.
“As a result, OLG has put in place contingencies, including a credit facility of up to $500 million that could be used to cover potential shortfalls in cash flow until casinos re-open. Use of the credit facility will be tightly controlled, will include approval of the board of directors, and is subject to re-payment on terms set by the Ontario Financing Authority.”