TORONTO -- A federal program aimed at giving loans to some of the largest companies in the country is rolling the dice with 200 million dollars to a casino chain.

The loan is the first from what the government has dubbed the "large employer emergency financing facility," or LEEF for short.

It's aimed at providing loans to companies with revenues of 300 million dollars or more.

While there had been a handful of interested companies talking with federal authorities about accessing financing through the program, nothing had been handed out since the program's introduction in May.

Now, the federal corporation that oversees the program says it has approved a 200-million-dollar loan to Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, which has operations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.