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California Governor Urges Tribal Leaders Not To Reopen Casinos Yet

Gov. Gavin Newsom Penned Letter To Tribal Leaders After First Casino Opened Last Friday In Northern California


Several tribal casinos in California are beginning the reopening process, but Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging them otherwise.

Win-River Resort & Casino, a tribal resort in Northern California, opened last Friday, and three San Diego area tribal properties are scheduled to open this week. On Saturday, Newsom wrote a letter to tribal leaders asking them to hold off on their plans.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, Newsom cited public health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the plea to the tribes.

“I understand that some tribal governments are planning on reopening casinos on their lands,” wrote Newsom. “This deeply concerns me, and I urge tribal governments to reconsider and instead make those determinations based on how they align with the current local public health conditions and the statewide stage of reopening.”

It would be unlawful for Newsom to force tribal bodies to wait for state approval for reopening. Instead, he is asking the tribes to wait until the state enters the third phase of Newsom’s reopening plan before casinos begin conducting business.

It is unlikely that the San Diego-area casinos comply with Newsom’s request as many tribal governments use gaming as its main source of funding. The Viejas Casino & Resort is scheduled to open Monday, Sycuan Casino Resort on Wednesday and Valley View Casino on Friday.

Aside from struggling revenue numbers, casino openings in other states have shown that there is plenty of consumer demand when the openings begin. The historic South Dakota mining town of Deadwood was the first city to allow its residents to gamble again a couple of weeks ago and the casinos enjoyed a massive turnout.

Five Phoenix-area casinos were open for business again last Friday, and according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, there was a long line of gamblers waiting to enter Harrah’s Ak-Chin casino when doors opened at 9 a.m.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin, Ft. McDowell Casino, and three Gila River properties opened Friday morning. None of which opened its poker rooms.

Most of its San Diego counterparts are doing the same with their poker rooms, with the exception of Jamul Casino, which will spread poker games with 50 percent reduced rake and five-handed tables.



17 days ago

HEY GREEDY TRIBES!!! of california

you know a good way to get revenue for doing nothing???

ONLINE POKER!!!! making record money now where its allowed.

you shouldnt even be able to decide if i get to play online poker in California.

get your acts together whiny babies!!! get us poker and make your money!!!