Gambling venues are shutting down in another state. Several major casinos in Oklahoma have confirmed the news in statements to the media. Today, we’re going to look at how this will affect Oklahoma’s casino industry in the long run.
Lawmakers here have been in a fight with tribes over casinos for months. Now, it appears this legal battle is being put on hold. Here’s what’s happening here.
Covid-19 Update: More than 16,000 Positive Cases in the US
Thousands of new cases of Covid-19 have been officially confirmed in the United States. Testing protocol is beginning to improve and more people around the country are choosing to self-isolate. Some states, unfortunately, continue to see their infection rates increase rapidly.
California continues to take the most intense regulations. Gavin Newsom, California’s Governor has now called on everyone in the state to stay home unless it’s absolutely essential. Even with these measures, Newsom estimates that 56% of the entire state will eventually test positive.
New York is experiencing a major surge in cases, as well. More than 4,500 people here have been confirmed infected. As a result, much of the state is beginning to shut down right now.
Not every state was quick to act, though. Florida’s Governor is facing serious criticism for allowing casinos, public beaches, bars and nightclubs to remain open. Even yesterday, hundreds of people were seen partying together on a Florida beach.
With cases now beginning to emerge in Oklahoma, more casinos here are choosing to close to the public. Here’s how this situation is unfolding.
Oklahoma’s Casino Industry is Closing Down
Oklahoma has one of the largest casino industries in the United States. There are a huge number of Native American-run casinos here that contribute massively to the state government. Unfortunately, many of these venues are being forced to shut down.
Several casinos here have announced they are now closing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus throughout Oklahoma. Lucky Star Casino revealed that it’s temporarily shutting down all six of its Oklahoma venues.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes claim these properties will be closed to the public starting on Friday morning. As of now, these venues will be closed until April 2nd. Employees of these properties will be paid during this time.
It’s clear that Oklahoma’s casino industry is taking a major hit. Days ago, the WinStar World Casino Resort closed its doors. This property is known for attracting many visitors from Dallas and the surrounding area.
Most of these properties expect to open again within a few weeks. If the virus continues to spread, however, this may not be possible. We’ll need to wait and see how infection rates grow here in the coming days.
How Will This Affect the State’s Legal Fight With Tribes?
It’s interesting to see Oklahoma’s casino industry closing down right now. Many felt this was possible in 2020, yet no one expected it to be due to a global pandemic. Most thought that lawmakers would force these venues to close down due to the fight over gaming licenses.
Oklahoma and tribes agreed to compacts that allowed the tribes to run casinos for 15 years. In January, these compacts expired. The tribes believe that they automatically renew. State officials claim they need to negotiate a new deal in order to receive casino licenses.
Both parties have been fighting in court over these issues. For now, though, the coronavirus is forcing the state’s casinos to shut down.
That doesn’t mean all casino gambling options are leaving, though. There are a huge number of fantastic online casinos in Oklahoma right now. Many of them offer more gambling options than the top land-based casinos in the state.
Oklahoma’s casino industry is closing down, for now. Hopefully, the casino companies here are able to take the financial toll that Covid-19 is having on the economy.
Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks!