Business

Valley casinos make their moves toward reopening

Two Central Valley casinos are set to reopen after a couple months closed due to coronavirus, while two others are remaining closed for the time being.

Since casinos are located on Native American tribal reservations, tribes have the ability to reopen as they please without the approval of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold announced it would reopen on June 1 at 9 a.m. The resort initially closed on March 20. 

Chukchansi will require all guests to wear facemasks, staff will take guests’ temperature at the entrance and no one younger than 21 will be allowed on the property, among other guidelines. 

Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore will open in two phases, starting Thursday at 9 a.m. Like Chukchansi, all guests must be 21 or older and will be required to wear masks. 

The casino will use infrared cameras to monitor the body temperature of guests and employees. 

Slot machines, the hotel, and a limited number of restaurants will open in the first phase. The casino will open up table games in about two weeks. 

Both casinos have placed hand sanitizer dispensers throughout their facilities. 

Tachi Palace was set to host UFC 249 on April 18, but the event was cancelled after executives at Disney – the parent company of broadcast partner ESPN – pressured UFC President Dana White to postpone it. 

Table Mountain Casino in Friant and Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville have not announced any plans to reopen. 

Table Mountain has been closed since March 16, and the temporary closure is tentatively set to expire on May 31. But the casino has not said if it will reopen on May 31 or extend the closure. 

When the casino reopens, guests will have their temperature taken at the entrance and will have to wear masks. Table Mountain will prohibit smoking inside the casino and will be open at 25 percent capacity. 

Eagle Mountain closed on March 18, and two weeks ago the casino announced that the temporary closure is extended until June 15. The casino has not said if it will reopen on June 15 and has not released any health-safety guidelines that it will follow when it reopens. 

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.