SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Five tribal casinos in San Diego County will close starting at noon Friday amid concerns over the coronavirus and will remain closed through the end of the month.
The Barona Resort & Casino, Golden Acorn Casino, Jamul Casino, Sycuan Casino Resort and Viejas Casino & Resort will shut down, according to a joint statement from tribal government leaders.
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"The Tribes are united in this decision to close for the health and well-being of the community, their guests and approximately 9,000 employees," the statement read. "Despite this closure, it is their hope that they can continue to provide emergency services for their respective communities."
Sycuan Casino and Resort's Rob Cinelli, general manager, explained the resort's plan moving forward is to close each area at in the resort a time.
Cinelli said they will work to accommodate guests, and make sure its more than 2,500 plus employees are taken care of.
Casino leaders informed employees that they will be paid through March 31, but that’s not the case for Viejas. During this week's Tribal Council it was discussed that Viejas will not be paying its employees.
News 8 reached out to Viejas asking why is its casino is operating differently, but did not receive a response.
The tribes said they will continue monitoring the outbreak and "take further necessary precautions as their Tribal governments deem necessary."
Cinelli said all tribal leaders are working together. It’s a big loss for the entire community, but right now guests have to put their safety first.
Cinelli said, Sycuan has been donating all food items to charities and then will be distributed to the community. The Sycaun Market and gas station will remain open.