California Governor Gavin Newsom asks casinos to reconsider reopening plans

California Governor Gavin Newsom asks casinos to reconsider reopening plans

As more and more casino operators are eagerly announcing plans to reopen their entertainment venues after the prolonged COVID-19 shutdown, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has urged them to reconsider any such move.

A number of casino resorts are owned and operated by American native tribes, which are eager to reopen the gates of their betting platforms to the public. But, Governor Newsom warned that the deadly corona virus is still prevalent and could pose a big risk to the public. All casinos in the state were closed in mid March to help prevent the spreading of corona virus. But as gaming is the main economic engine for most of the Native American associations, many tribes are keen to reopen their casinos.

Gov. Newsom wrote a letter to the native tribes, requesting them to reconsider their reopening plans and take decisions based on how they would align with the existing local public health conditions.

Urging casinos to remain closed, the Democratic governor said, “In the spirit of sovereign-to-sovereign engagement, I respectfully request that until a surrounding or neighboring local jurisdiction has legally processed into Stage 3, your tribal casinos remain closed.”

It is interesting to note here that California is home to Native American tribal casinos and commercial card clubs, and these entertainment facilities are not required to obey state orders as they have sovereign governments that operate on their federally-recognized reservations. It is for this reason that several casino operators have already announced their reopening plans, without consulting state health authorities.

Win-River Resort & Casino, which is in the Northern California town of Redding, has already reopened its doors to the members of the public, announcing that it will remain open 24/7 moving forward. While the tribal casino is claiming that it has taken a number of precautions and put all required safeguards in place, such as ensuring social distancing of guests and sanitization of all areas; health authorities have warned that it could bring in a second wave of corona virus infections.

Coronavirus pandemic has thus far caused more than 1.4 millions infections and nearly 90,000 deaths in across the United States. In California, the total number of corona infections has cross 80,000, while at least 3,241 people have lost their lives.