San Manuel Casino in Highland and Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula announced Saturday, March 14, that they would temporarily suspend operations through the end of the month, amid growing concerns over the novel coronavirus.
San Manuel announced in statements on social media and on-site television screens that it would be closing through the end of the month starting at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 15 and Pechanga announced in a statement that it would be closing through the end of the month starting at noon on Monday, March 16.
“The health and safety of our guests, team members, and Tribal Citizens is our highest priority,” part of a statement provided by San Manuel officials said. “We have volunteered to temporarily suspend casino operations effective at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15th through the end of the month. In consultation with the State of California and in consideration of the governor’s guidance on large gatherings, we feel this is the best course of action for our community.”
“As a Tribal Government and major employer of thousands of people, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close Pechanga Resort Casino for the health and safety of our Team Members, Tribal Members, and guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said in a statement provided by the Pechanga casino. “No matter what, the Pechanga family will rise to this challenge together with the strength, compassion, determination, and resilience that our ancestors instilled in us.”
The decision by the casinos to close follows a day of closures by card rooms and casinos in Los Angeles County, including The Commerce Hotel & Casino, The Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens, Hollywood Park Casino and the Hustler Casino in Gardena. All of those facilities announced planned closures beginning this weekend.
Other casinos in the region, including Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Harrah’s Resort Southern California, Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa and Soboba Casino Resort had not yet announced any planned closures on their websites or on social media.
Earlier in the week, many of those casinos announced plans to either postpone or cancel some of their upcoming comedy and music shows as concerns over COVID-19 mounted.
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