The CARES Act, which provides businesses temporary loan relief during the CoVid-19 outbreak, became law on March 27, 2020. It provides two loan programs, The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, for small businesses, including the self-employed. Based on the way the programs are designed and our understanding of the statutory language, professional gamblers would not be eligible for the EIDL program, but they would qualify for the PPP.

The PPP loan program allows borrowers to obtain a loan in order to cover certain business-related expenses, including payroll, rent and utilities, from February through June 2020. Eligible borrowers must have been in business on or before February 15, 2020 and can apply for a loan up to 2.5x their monthly average payroll cost. Since many professional gamblers will not have payroll costs, they will instead determine these costs using net income from 2019. In order to determine “monthly payroll”, simply divide total 2019 net income by 12. If you did not show any net profit in 2019, then you will not be eligible for a loan through the PPP. The program does not require a filed 2019 tax return, but applicants might be required to submit a draft Schedule C to verify 2019 income and expense figures.

The main benefit of this loan is that all of the loan proceeds used toward certain payroll costs should be forgiven and payments towards rent and utilities should be, at least, partially forgiven. In order to qualify for loan forgiveness, at least 75% of the funds must be spent on payroll. Any amount that does not qualify for forgiveness will be payable in monthly installments over a 2-year period, at 1% interest. Loan repayments will begin 6 months after the initial loan proceeds were received.

Professional gamblers, as self-employed individuals, will be eligible to apply beginning April 10. The program will continue to accept applications through June 30, but there is a funding cap. Applications can be obtained from the U.S. Treasury and submitted to any SBA-backed lender.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the program, please email