While Tribal casinos nationwide are taking extra precaution to sanitize and protect patrons and employees from potential exposure to Coronavirus, others are temporarily shutting their doors.
The list is growing and this is likely incomplete, but among them: In California – Pechanga Resort Casino and San Manuel Casino, in New Mexico – the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s three gaming venues including Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino, in Michigan – Gun Lake Casino, and in Pennsylvania – Wind Creek Bethlehem.
All casinos mentioned have committed to continuing to pay employees full salaries and benefits throughout the duration of the temporary closures.
The two Southern California casinos, Pechanga Resort Casino and San Manuel Casino, announced this weekend their temporary closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Pechanga’s closure commences at noon on Monday and will last through the end of March, Tribal leaders said.
“As a Tribal Government and major employer of thousands of people, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close Pechanga Resort Casino for the health and safety of our Team Members, Tribal Members, and guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said. “No matter what, the Pechanga family will rise to this challenge together with the strength, compassion, determination, and resilience that our ancestors instilled in us.”
San Manuel will close its doors today at 5 p.m., likely through the end of March.
“The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians wholeheartedly stand with all of those directly and indirectly affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19), as countries and communities face unprecedented challenges and difficult decisions.
“During this closure all team members will continue to be paid and receive benefits. As we navigate this uncertain period, we will continue to solicit guidance from the CDC, San Bernardino County Public Health Department and other relevant authorities. We want to thank our team members, guests, and partners for their patience during this time.”
Starting Monday at 4 a.m., Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino, Cities of Gold Casino and Jake’s Casino will close to promote social distancing in the face of Coronavirus’ spread. “Our highest priority has always been the health and safety of our team members, our guests and our community,” said Joseph M. Talachy, Governor, Pueblo of Pojoaque.
The Pueblo of Pojoaque’s hotel will remain open.
Employees will receive full pay during the closure.
Gan Lake Casino will close from 3 a.m. on Monday, March 16th to March 30th. “Protecting the health and safety of our guests and team members is of utmost importance and our main priority. While there is no requirement to close, we believe in doing our part to prevent of the spread of the Coronavirus,” said Sal Semola, president and chief operating officer for Gun Lake Casino.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians-owned Wind Creek Bethlehem in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, voluntarily closed at 6 a.m. Sunday with plans to reopen at 6 a.m. March 29.
“While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at the property, Wind Creek Bethlehem has decided to close as a precautionary measure because the health of our community is most important,” Wind Creek said.
Wind Creek Bethlehem’s 2,350 employees will receive pay throughout the duration of the closure.