The Tohono O’odham Nation is not rolling the dice with public health.
The Nation and the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise (TOGE) temporarily suspended gaming operations at the four Desert Diamond Casinos throughout Arizona, including Desert Diamond Casino West Valley in Glendale, due to concerns of COVID-19.
The group of casinos suspended games at 11:59 p.m. March 18, on what TOGE group hopes is just a two-week hiatus.
“In this unprecedented time, it is our duty to protect the community and collective action is needed to slow this virus. We are all in this together and I am proud to be a part of the vital Arizona Tribal Gaming community, which employs thousands of workers. I commend the other tribal casinos who are also making tough decisions for their own communities as well. It is in moments like these that our communities must rise to the challenge by relying on the shared values of compassion, collaboration and generosity that have inspired us for generations,” Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. said.
The closures came a week after the casino announced increased cleaning efforts and extra hand-sanitizing stations in crowded areas of the gaming floor.
However, due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations of social distancing, TOGE CEO Rudy Prieto said the temporary suspension of gaming was a necessary step.
“This action is being taken to protect the safety of our team members, guests and the community. We will do everything we can to support our team members, including ensuring that they continue to be compensated during the planned closure,” Prieto said.
“It is important that we all do our part in this uncertain time and we want to thank our guests and the Desert Diamond family for their patience and understanding.”
For more information on suspended gaming operations or Desert Diamond Casinos, visit ddcaz.com.