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First Land-Based Casino to Open in California

When it comes to the Coronavirus all Businesses and Casinos are treated equal, although some are more equal than others. The idea of what businesses are essential and what are not has been left in most part to the Governors of each States. There is a consistent pattern when it comes to the political affiliation of each Governor, but we will leave that for another day.

In the great State of California, it seems that the Tribal Nation Casinos are a bit more equal than other casinos and have been granted the ability to open their doors. Without getting into the details, the Tribal Casinos as well as other parts of Indian life are under Federal jurisdiction and are Sovereign entities. It is a long and extremely complicated subject which we will not delve in to at this time.

What Casinos in California opened on May 18?

On Monday May 18, 2020, 3 Tribal casinos in California officially started to open their doors to the general public. The first to do this was the Viejas Casino and Resort near the city of San Diego. This will be followed by the Sycuan Casino Resort in El Cajon opening on the 20th of May and the Valley View Casino & Hotel in Valley Center getting started on the 22nd. To give you a sense of the demand, within 3 hours of opening, the Viejo Casino’s first 3 floors of its 4 floor Parking Garage were already filled.

What precautions were being taken to ensure the safety of the Casino Players?

Because of the risk and the high profile of this opening, the casino put into place many precautions to ensure the safety of everyone in the casino including the players and staff. Only time will tell if the precautions worked, but for now let’s take a look at what they did.

  • Foreheads scanned before entering the Casino
  • Keeping patrons and staff at least 6 feet apart
  • Instructing patron to wash hands and not to touch their face
  • Leave the Casino if they were feeling sick
  • Only 3 players at a table
  • Closed every other Slot machine for greater distancing

What were the reactions from Public Officials?

Even in times of crisis there are those in charge who refrain from anything perceived to be Politically Incorrect. If this were a Wynn owned casino the press, politicians and their ilk would be up in arms and calling out the owners for being reckless and endangering the patron’s lives. But because of our PC culture, no one is going to challenge the Indians who were have had a tumultuous history in the US.

In a Desert Sun Newspaper article published on May 18, 2020, the San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher did not respond to questions but offered his perspective on the situation.

“This is a decision that is for them to make, and there is a very long and very dark history of the country of white people, in particular, telling our Native Americans what they should and shouldn’t do,” ………. “I’m not going to be a part of continuing that into the future. I respect their sovereignty.”

I’m not too sure what the “dark history” has to do with Coronavirus and trying to stop its spread and ensure the safety of California citizens, but as with any Politician worth his salt, they usually fold to public opinion without offering any viable solutions.

As for the Casino and its patrons, this will be a significant test of what to expect with future openings and how to move forward from our current situation. Best of Luck to all the players and stay safe!