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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Tribal Casinos Slowly Reopening

Above, playing cards from Sky City Hotel Casino. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For the most part, I am not a gambler despite living ten miles from Fire Rock Navajo Casino. But I do occasionally stop at one for a meal. I generally stay at the Route 66 Casino Hotel's RV Resort whenever I am in Albuquerque.

The tribal casinos are slowly reopening, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

They wrote:
Tribal casinos are slowly reopening around New Mexico. 
The reopenings are taking place despite the recommendations of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. 
“Tribal casinos are sovereign, which the state has no control over,” said Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett. “Nontribal casinos remain closed under the current public health order.” 
Isleta Resort & Casino opened Monday. Patrons were excited to return. 
A patron told the Journal there was a two-hour wait to get inside at 11 p.m. Tuesday and a one-hour wait when she returned at 1 a.m. Wednesday. Guests were told the casino was allowing only 25% capacity inside. But patrons waited patiently in line to play their favorite slot machines and table games. 
Route 66 Casino Hotel on Laguna Pueblo has plans to reopen soon. An official announcement is expected on Monday, June 22. 
“From an operational standpoint, we feel like our casino, restaurants, hotel, everything is ready to go,” said Skip Sayre, chief of sales and marketing for Laguna Development Corp., owned by Laguna Pueblo. “We’re still working on making sure that we are appropriately staffed and that all of our staff are COVID-19-tested and are appropriately trained on all of the new health and safety protocols that we put in place.” 
Many other casinos are closed and do not have a reopening date yet, including Sandia Resort & Casino, Santa Ana Casino Hotel, Tesuque Casino, Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, Sky City Casino Hotel and Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino. Casinos on the Navajo Nation, which has been hit severely by COVID-19, also remain closed.
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