Amid concerns of community spread in California, casinos across the state closed their doors this week to ensure the health and safety of their guests.
Here are some of the casinos that announced their closures via press release this week. They are closed indefinitely with the state having issued a “stay-at-home” order.
Table Mountain Casino (6 p.m. March 16)
In a statement from the Table Mountain Rancheria Tribal Council, tribal leaders said they made their decision to close their casino based on CDC recommendations. The property will stay closed through at least March 31.
“Tribal Mountain Casino remains unified in the protection of our guests, casino team members and their families, our tribal community, as well as the many vendors we utilize in our operations,” the statement said.
According to the release, the casino will pay its employees’ base pay and provide benefits during the time the casino is closed.
Even though Table Mountain won’t have any patrons, they will do a “full property sanitization” at least two times during the closure.
“Our prayers go out to all of the families and nations who have been impacted by the virus,” the release said. “Today is the day we stand together and join forces to protect our people.”
Eagle Mountain Casino (4 a.m. March 18)
Eagle Mountain’s management and the Tule River Tribal Council made their decision on Monday, saying they would close their casino at 4 a.m. today through April 3.
In a press release announcing the closure, Tule River Tribal Chairman Neil Peyron said the tribe apologizes for the inconvenience but that the decision was a unified one in which leaders “put our team members, guests, our community and their families first.”
The release noted that the casino would pay their employees and maintain employee health benefits while the property is closed.
Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs/Casino Spa Rancho Mirage (6 p.m. March 17)
The Agua Caliente Tribe decided in a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday they would declare a State of Emergency. The tribe’s casinos, as well as golf courses and hiking areas, will remain closed through at least March 31.
Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said the closures are standard procedure for a tribal State of Emergency.
“We stand ready to assist federal, tribal, local and state agencies with emergency preparedness and disaster response related to the OVID 19 global pandemic.”
The tribe will continue to pay employees and provide health benefits during the State of Emergency.
Casino Pauma (5 p.m. March 15)
The Pauma-Yuima Band of Mission Indians said in a statement that its guests, team members and community are its top priority. Because of this, they chose to close their casino at 5 p.m. this past Sunday.
The release did not provide a date for re-opening, saying the casino would be closed “until further notice.”
“We believe we need to work together as a community to combat the spread of the virus and consider everyone’s well-being first,” the tribe said.
Valley View Casino (March 23)
Valley View’s statement about its closing indicates the property’s valet and buffet will close on March 22 and that the casino would not open for business on March 23.
Bruce Howard, Valley View’s general manager, did not indicate in the press release if the casino would pay its employees during the closure.
“We sincerely appreciate and never take for granted your trust, your support, your patronage and your friendship and we will continue to do everything we possibly can to ensure your safety and your good health,” Howard said.
We should see more closures across the country, as the trend in California and Las Vegas is to close casinos to avoid “community spread,” the term for getting the coronavirus through your community as in lieu of traveling.
All Las Vegas casinos closed at midnight on Tuesday per an order from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, an unprecedented move that served as a wake-up call for the casino industry. The casinos will remain closed for 30 days.
Tribal casinos are under their own jurisdiction and aren’t required to follow a governor’s guidance. However, the actions California’s tribal casinos took indicates tribes are ready to work with the state to ensure the safety of citizens.