California’s North Bay Tribes Give Support to State’s Sports Betting Measure

Casinos in California
California’s North Bay tribes are supporting the state’s attempt to legalize sports betting at casinos on native lands.

Last month, the state’s sports betting measure qualified for the November 2022 ballot. If approved by the voters, it would allow legal California sports betting only in the state’s tribal casinos and its four licensed racetracks.The initiative would also allow roulette and dice games, including craps at casinos in Native American land.

California Tribes Have Contributed $11.5M

California’s Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, the owners of the largest casino in the Bay Area just outside of Rohnert Park, is the third largest contributor backing the campaign to legalize sports betting. According to campaign finance records, they have donated a total of $1.7M over the past 18 months. Overall, California tribes have poured in $11.5M to back the measure.

The Day Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians are also backing the sports betting bill but have not financially contributed to the campaign, although it hinted of doing so in the future. Meanwhile, the Lytton Band of Indians and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria have declined to comment on their position on the measure.

A Potential Expensive Campaign Battle

The support of the North Bay tribes sets up a possible expensive campaign battle against cardrooms and online gambling companies who argue that the measure only expands the gaming monopoly of the tribes. Seven California card room operators have poured in $7M to oppose the measure.

The tribes, which have endured a long period of neglect and exploitation by the state and federal government, have since gained significant political and financial power. They are are prepared to go to war against online gaming companies for the right to operate sports betting in California.

Sports Betting Worth Tens of Millions of Dollars

The California measure would permit gamblers to place legal wagers on professional sports games as well as collegiate and amateur sporting events except high school games and those involving California-based collegiate teams.

Under the initiative, horse tracks would be levied a 10% sports betting tax while tribal casinos would be required to pay a portion of their sports betting gaming revenues to at least cover regulatory costs. Lawmakers estimate that the legalization of sports betting would create tens of millions of dollars in annual tax income for the state.

Ray J Manages to Hit Massive Slot Jackpot Win

Slot Jackpot Win

Casino hubs around the US are seeing a consistent jump in their tourism rates right now. As a result, the casinos in the country continue to report major jackpot wins by their patrons. New reports have surfaced that indicate popular rap artist Ray J has just hit a massive slot jackpot win at a California casino.

The popular musician clearly has reason to celebrate. Today, we’ll talk about how much he was able to win. We’ll also highlight some of the other major jackpot wins recorded in Las Vegas over the last few weeks.

Let’s get into it!

Nearly All Las Vegas Casinos Remove Mask Mandate

The tourism situation in Las Vegas has been covered extensively over the past year. For a time, virtually no visitors were heading to the city. That has begun to change in 2021 thanks to a drop in infection rates and the lifting of many restrictions here.

Almost all of the major casino-resorts in this city are now operating at 100% capacity. This is a key step in these casinos getting pre-pandemic revenue figures. Many of the entertainment options here such as nightclubs and shows are able to operate at full capacity, too.

More recently, Governor Sisolak has given the green light for major casino-resorts here to remove their mask mandate. Moving forward, vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks inside. Some feel this will help to draw in even more tourists to the city.

There are some huge changes coming to this city over the next few months. The most expensive casino-resort ever built in Nevada will finally open to the public on June 24. Resorts World Las Vegas is expected to be a truly one-of-a-kind gambling venue.

Las Vegas casinos are already reporting major increases in their room bookings. There is reason to believe that this summer will be one of the most successful ones in history here. It’s an exciting time for this city and others like it in the country.

A growing number of major jackpots are now being reported in this city. It’s not the only part of the country where major jackpots are won, though! It appears one famous rap star has just won a jackpot at a popular Southern California casino.

Ray J Reveals He Won a Massive Slot Jackpot Win

The city of Los Angeles tends to attract major celebrities from around the world. Many love to head to the city to take part in the nightlife, and other entertainment options available. It’s not uncommon to see celebrities flaunting their extravagant hotel rooms here.

Less common, however, is a celebrity flaunting a jackpot win in the city. These are fairly rare and it seems likely that most celebrities would keep any major gambling winnings to themselves. Ray J, the famous musician from Mississippi, has no desire to hide his gambling accomplishments.

Ray J took to social media to reveal an astounding $17,000 slot jackpot win. Incredibly, this jackpot came from a penny slot! That is an incredible return on such a low-risk slot game.

This jackpot win took place at the San Manuel Casino in San Bernardino near Los Angeles. It’s one of Southern California’s most popular gambling properties. Some believe that this news will help to bring a new surge of visitors to this venue.

Over in Las Vegas, major slot jackpot wins are becoming more and more common. Casinos here continue to report impressive wins as the weeks go on. Several truly massive ones have been reported over the past month alone!

Some of these jackpot wins range in size. Now is the perfect time to talk about some of the most recent Las Vegas slot jackpots.

Las Vegas Jackpot Wins are Growing More Common

There are more world-class casinos in Las Vegas than anywhere else in the world. The Las Vegas Strip, in particular, is home to a massive number of world-class gambling properties. Millions of people flock here every year in hopes of winning big inside one of these properties.

There has been a steady increase of visitors here over the past few months. As a result, gambling revenue in Las Vegas is increasing. There has also been a steady increase of major jackpots won in the city.

Just a few days ago, a staggering $153,000 jackpot was won at a Las Vegas casino. The lucky Kansas native won this jackpot at Caesars Palace. It was won on Pai Gow, a popular game that draws comparisons to blackjack.

Two weeks ago, a different $345,000 slot jackpot win was recorded at Palace Station. As some might expect, this was won playing the Wheel of Fortune Slot Game. A simple $1.25 wager won this incredible jackpot victory.

Expect to see more of these jackpot wins taking place over the next few months. There will be a massive number of people making the journey to Las Vegas through June, July, and August. Stay tuned for updates!

Are you surprised to hear about Ray J’s slot jackpot win? Let us know in the comments section below!

Many Push Against Forcing LA Card Rooms to Close

Blackjack Hand and a Roll of Money

Over the weekend, news broke that the card rooms throughout LA County are being ordered to shut down. It was devastating for these businesses, many of whom have seen huge revenue dips throughout the year. Many county officials are now pushing against the closure of LA card rooms.

Some officials believe these venues are vital sources of revenue for many cities. They also provide employment for a huge number of people. Today, we’re going to talk about what could happen to LA’s popular card rooms this month.

Let’s get into it!

Los Angeles Could See “More Intense” Regulations Set in Place Soon

California, like all other states around the country, has been seeing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases lately. Hospital ICUs are filling up and some experts fear they could soon become overburdened. It’s a troubling development that state leaders are trying to solve.

Governor Newsom recently warned that more intense regulations could soon be set in place. The vast majority of the state is in the “purple tier” meaning continued high infection rates. These areas may soon be issued a stay-at-home order.

LA County, in particular, is likely going to be hit with intense regulations soon. This area of the state continues to see massive spikes in infections. Mayor Garcetti seems highly likely to crackdown on more businesses over the next couple of weeks.

Some of the businesses in LA are hurting worse than others. As many are aware, the restaurant business has been devastated over the past nine months. It now appears the commercial gambling industry around this area could begin hurting, too.

News recently broke that LA card rooms were being ordered to shut down. It’s a tough blow for these venues, which continue to experience low visitation rates and big drops in revenue. Many complained that these new rules could permanently destroy the industry here.

Recently, several officials in the LA area have begun pushing against the idea of closing down card rooms.

More Officials Call to Keep LA Card Rooms Open at Limited Capacity

California is home to a massive land-based casino industry. The only true Class III casinos here are run by Native American tribes. There are, however, a large number of card rooms run commercially that offer only certain types of table games.

State leaders have no real authority to force Native American casinos to shut down. They are able to close down card rooms. That’s exactly what state leaders called for last weekend as a way to cut down on infections.

Many feel this is a bad idea, though. City leaders in Commerce, Bell Gardens, and Hawaiian Gardens are now planning to request LA card rooms to remain open. They argue these properties are already facing significantly more regulations than other businesses in the state.

Keith Sharp, Gardens Casino’s General Counsel, made his argument for keeping card rooms open to the media this week.

“We recognize that this surge is serious, and we plan to continue to do our part if permitted to do so. But closing us down won’t impact the surge, but it will put thousands of Angelenos out of work right at holiday time, further harm our businesses, and put our cities in deeper financial peril,” he said. 

These officials are scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week to plead their case. Some feel these efforts will be unsuccessful. We’ll offer more updates on this situation over the next few days.

Sports Betting is Proving Hugely Profitable for Many States

Many politicians in California have been pushing for sports betting to become legal for years. Unfortunately, this has proven to be extremely difficult. The efforts to pass a sports betting bill failed in 2020 and it now seems this form of gambling won’t come to the state until at least 2021.

Meanwhile, more than half the country now has legal sports betting bills approved. Most states that allow sports gambling are earning a huge amount of revenue every single month. 2020 has brought massive surges in sports betting revenue.

We can now add Rhode Island to that list. This state legalized sports betting in 2018. This past October, the state set a new revenue record with $4.4 million, up more than 75% compared to October of 2019.

Colorado and New Jersey are also seeing record sports betting figures. It’s a welcome development for these states, both of which are in desperate need of money right now. These new figures will likely push more states to embrace the sports betting industry in 2021.

California’s gambling industry continues to suffer. All of the land-based casinos here are seeing revenue figures drop. To make things worse, all of the LA card rooms are likely to shut down in the near future.

Do you think it’s fair to order California’s card rooms to shut down? When do you expect them to reopen? Let us know in the comments section below!

We’re Seeing Influencers Helping Casinos Bring in More Players

Casinos around the United States continue to deal with low visitation rates and drops in revenue. Unfortunately, many analysts predict that things will get worse over the next few months. We’re now beginning to see influencers helping casinos to bring in more players.

Social media influencers have a legitimate ability to help businesses. Some casinos are now taking advantage of this fact. Today, we’ll take a look at which venues are utilizing this strategy right now.

Let’s get into it!

California’s Gambling Industry is Still Struggling

The state of California is known for having some unusual gambling laws. Here, commercial casinos are completely prohibited. Native American casinos, however, are able to freely operate throughout the state.

As many know, there are a huge number of tribal casinos now operating in this state. Historically speaking, these venues have been hugely successful and help to bring the state large amounts of revenue every year. In 2020, however, this industry was flipped on its head.

All of the casinos here were shut down in March. These casinos are not directly regulated by the state, though. That meant each of them could set their own timetables to begin operating again. Within a few months, nearly all of the casinos in California were open again.

Things are still far from normal, though. Most casinos are seeing very low visitation rates. As a result, there’s been a major drop in revenue. The majority of residents here are simply choosing to avoid crowded venues such as casinos.

Some felt that the regulation of sports betting could improve the situation here. For reasons unknown, however, the state pushed against these plans. California’s casino industry is struggling and no one knows when things will begin to turn around.

Each casino is now taking its own approach to bring in more players. We’re beginning to hear about some new strategies taken by popular casinos in Southern California.

More Reports of Influencers Helping Casinos Have Surfaced

Casino companies spend a huge amount of time working on marketing strategies. That’s especially true with the major casinos in places like Las Vegas. Under normal circumstances, this city sees more than 40 million visitors every single year.

The entire US casino industry is now suffering. As a result, many companies are being forced to take new approaches to their marketing. In Southern California, several casinos are now reaching out to social media influencers to help bring in more players.

Heather Honea, a professor in marketing at San Diego State University, believes this strategy makes sense right now.

“It’s allowed us to connect with individuals we know less about but have sort of the same experiential component,” Honea said. “And as marketing has become so experiential it matters a lot that there’s someone we feel is sharing information in sort of a word-of-mouth matter but also kind of communicating their experiences or their ideas around a product.”

Several popular venues including the San Manuel Casino, Morongo Casino, and Harrah’s Resort Southern California are all taking this approach. It seems to be paying off. As a result, we could see more influencers helping casinos around the country in the future.

It’s an interesting time for this industry. We’re finally beginning to see the revenue reports for the major casino companies in Las Vegas.

More Casino Revenue Reports Are Coming Out

It’s been very interesting to see reports come out on major US casino companies this year. It seems like things are improving, yet no one knows how long this will last. This week, several reports on 2020’s third-quarter earnings came out for major casino companies.

Reports on Wynn Resorts’ earnings were just released. This company earned just $370.45 million over the months of July, August, and September. Interestingly, about half of this revenue came from Wynn Resorts’ properties in Las Vegas.

Caesars Entertainment also released its revenue reports for 2020’s Q3. More than $1.4 billion was earned by this company over three months. That represents a 34% decrease in revenue year-on-year.

All of the country’s major casino companies are seeing dips in revenue right now. It’s taking a serious toll on many of them. Las Vegas Sands, one of the oldest and most established gaming operators in the world, recently announced it was interested in selling some of its biggest properties.

We’ll continue seeing more of these reports come out for the rest of the year. Perhaps if we see more influencers helping casinos, these revenue figures will increase. Stay tuned for more updates over the next few months!

When do you expect the country’s casino industry to get back to normal? Let us know in the comments section below!

Stars Casino Moves Table Games Outdoor Using Tented Patios

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to adjust the way they go about with their daily activities. Strict health measures have been imposed to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. While businesses have been allowed o open, they have been forced to adjust to the “new normal”. Casinos and gambling operators are no exception.

Stars Casino in Tracy, California reopened last Saturday after a five month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the casino has implemented changes to adapt to the reality of the coronavirus pandemic.

Complying with State Health Protocols

In compliance with state health protocols on social distancing, the casino was allowed to open but at 50% guest capacity. Aside from operating under 50% capacity, one of the most significant change is moving its gaming tables to an tented outdoor patio. Yes, card games like blackjack and poker are now played outdoors at Stars Casino.

Tables are separated six feet apart while the chips and cards are replaced after a couple of hours so they can be disinfected. Table capacity has been reduced from eight to four to give ample space between customers. The tables are also sanitized before and after guests sits down while hand washing stations are readily available throughout the venue.

Likewise, all patrons are screened when they arrive. Guests are required to have their temperatures checked. They are also required to wear a mask and a wristband that signifies that they have already been inspected.

Challenge In Moving Outdoors

In addition to moving outdoors and having smaller crowds, customers will be surprised to find another major change. Although the casino secured a state permit to serve food with drinks, the latter will have to wait, for now. Said Emmanuel Macalino, a manager at the casino:

“I’ve decided to not serve alcoholic beverages until we can work out all the kinks and iron out all the wrinkles in our operations.”

According to Macalino, moving the table games outdoors has given them a challenge in maintaining social distancing. Aside from that Macalino says battling the summer heat is another trial:

“We also have to deal with the weather as you can see it’s pretty toasty out here, and we put up the shades, and we still need allow the airflow.”

But tough as adjusting moving outdoors will be, it is necessary given the situation of the pandemic in the country. And yes, Macalino says that these precautionary measures have enabled Star Casino to be the only card room operator to re-open in Tracy so far.

CGA Asks Governor Newsom to Close All California Casinos

California, like many other states around the country, is seeing a significant rise in its number of positive Covid-19 cases. As a result, lawmakers have decided to move back on the state’s reopening plans and many businesses have been ordered to close. This week, the California Gaming Association spoke with the media and asked for Governor Newsom to close all California casinos.California

It’s not entirely surprising when you look at the numbers here. It will not be easy for Governor Newsom to order Native American-run casinos to shut down. Today, we’re going to look at how California’s gambling industry may change over the next few weeks.

Let’s get into it!

Rates of Covid-19 Continue to Increase in California

For a time, California seemed to be doing fantastic in the fight against the new coronavirus. The state locked down early and cases remained low for months. Restrictions have been lifting in recent weeks, however, and cases of Covid-19 are now starting to surge here.

It’s an incredibly difficult situation. Many businesses around the state are taking a major hit due to the regulations. Now that the state is moving back in its reopening, there is a serious concern that a huge number of small businesses may go under.

There’s no doubt that infections are increasing here. More than 335,000 cases have been confirmed here and the death toll has surpassed 7,000. Things are still not as bad as they are in Florida, where health experts say the epicenter of the pandemic now is.

Covid-19 infection rates in Nevada are jumping quickly, as well. As a result, lawmakers here are taking a close look at the current set of regulations. It’s clear that tourism rates in Las Vegas are still down considerably.

Yesterday, the Las Vegas Palazzo announced that it was no longer accepting reservations on weekdays due to a drop in customer demand. There’s no way of knowing when tourism rates will begin to get back to normal here. Some feel it could be years.

Is California’s casino industry about to shut down again?

California Casinos May Soon Be Asked to Close Down Again

Obviously, California is working hard to lower its infection rates. Several new intense measures have been ordered in Los Angeles and San Diego. There is now a discussion about whether or not casinos here should be allowed to remain open.

One major group certainly doesn’t think so. Several members of the California Gaming Association recently spoke with the media about this situation. They are now asking Governor Newsom to order California casinos to temporarily shut down.

Thunder Valley Casino, located in Lincoln, has been taking some serious heat over a lack of safety measures set in place. Many employees have been complaining that the casino doesn’t care about their safety. Several of these casino workers now believe these venues need to be closed, as well.

“I think we should be sitting back and waiting, especially when the numbers are increasing again,” one employee said. 

“I know they [California casinos] are on sovereign land, but does that law supersede public health,” another told the media. 

Kyle Kirkland, President of the California Gaming Association, recently sent a letter to Gavin Newsom, asking him to close down casinos. He agrees that doing so would help to lower infection rates in the state.

This idea won’t sit well with tribal leaders in the state.

More States Are Taking a Closer Look at Their Casino Industries

Over the past month, many states have begun to reopen their casino industries. Casino companies around the country have been complaining that the regulations are making it impossible for them to survive. Today, casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City are now back up and running.

As we already mentioned, tourism rates in these cities are much lower than they were at the start of 2020. Gambling revenue is also expected to be significantly lower. As Covid-19 infection rates increase around the country, some feel that lawmakers may be forced to close some of these gambling venues.

That’s currently being considered with California casinos. Exactly how Governor Newsom could close these venues, which sit on sovereign land, to close is unknown. The CGA certainly seems to feel it’s possible.

Several major casino companies recently saw their share prices increase. This was due to China’s announcement that it was lifting restrictions to and from Macau. This will likely help the casinos in Macau to start generating more revenue.

This is a tough time for the land-based casino industry. We may see some big changes take place over the next six months.

Do you expect California casinos to shut down? Could this happen in other parts of the country? Let us know in the comments section below!

Coachella Valley Casinos Open Memorial Day Weekend

Desert FlowersCasinos in California’s Coachella Valley are reopening Memorial Day Weekend despite the advice of Governor Gavin Newsom, who urged tribal governments to consider the public health risks of resuming gaming operations.

The state of California has no authority over tribes operating casinos, as they are regarded as sovereign nations. In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians that casinos operating on tribal land are free from state regulation. However, tribes have been encouraged to work in conjunction with states to distribute profits that would normally be taxed.

The Coachella Valley-area casinos reopening include the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, Spotlight 29 Casino, Tortoise Rock Casino, and the Agua Caliente casinos in Palm Spring and Rancho Mirage.

Tribal Casinos Share New Safety Measures

The Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage will reopen with a handful of changes. The property’s fitness center, poker room, and pool will remain closed until further notice. Hand-sanitizer stations have been added through the casino floor. Both Agua Caliente casinos in Palm Spring and Rancho Mirage will keep their buffets closed and cease valet parking services for the time being.

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians said in a statement their Spotlight 29 and Tortoise Rock casinos were thoroughly cleaned during the temporary closures. Half of the seating for slot machines has been removed to allow for proper social distancing.

Casino employees will undergo testing for COVID-19 before they are permitted to return to work. All guests will be required to undergo temperature checks prior to entering the casinos. Guests, employees, and vendors are required to wear masks.

The Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians reported the Morongo Casino will also conduct temperature screenings, and capacity has been reduced to provide space for social distancing. The casino plans to operate without poker and bingo for the foreseeable future. Valet parking has also been put on hold.

Is it Smart for California’s Casino Industry to Reopen?

We’re slowly creeping toward June and more states are beginning to open back. As many are well-aware, California has been one of the slowest states to resume normalcy. Many are now wondering if it’s smart for California’s casino industry to reopen at this particular moment.California

Many casinos around the country are starting to accept guests again. The effects of this are not yet known. Today, we’re going to talk about what some of the casinos in California have planned.

Let’s get into it!

Governor Newsom Begins Easing California’s Restrictions

Cases of Covid-19 are beginning to drop around the country. As a result, many states have begun easing their stay-at-home orders. In some parts of the country, many different businesses such as gyms and restaurants are now able to operate at limited capacity.

California is one of the most cautious states when it comes to reopening. Governor Gavin Newsom continued to delay opening plans for many weeks, amid heavy criticism. Only recently has the Governor began allowing certain businesses to open their doors again.

This state is just beginning to enter into what’s called “Phase 2” of reopening. That allows things like curbside retail and certain shopping malls to reopen. We’re beginning to see that these phases differ from county to county.

Back in March, California’s casino industry officially began shutting down. Casino owners recognized that these venues posed a serious risk for infection spread. Shutting down all of the state’s casinos has ended up costing a huge amount of revenue.

It may be some time before California’s leaders give casinos the official green light to resume operations. Many still feel that it’s too early to do so. According to new reports, however, many of the state’s casinos plan to open their doors before state leaders recommend.

California’s Casino Industry is Likely to Open Back Up Soon

The land-based casino industry has been devastated by the regulations around the country. The larger the casino industry, the worse it’s being affected. California is home to a huge number of Native American casinos, many of which are expressing a desire to reopen.

This state’s casinos have a unique ability to do so. They sit on Native American sovereign land, meaning they’re able to set their own regulations. That doesn’t mean that California’s leaders are pleased to hear they plan on opening back up.

Governor Newsom recently sent a letter to several of California’s major tribes. In it, he stresses the importance of safety. It’s clear that Newsom feels it’s too early to reopen California’s casino industry.

Some of the state’s casinos have already opened back up. That includes the Viejas Casino & Resort, located in the San Diego area. Despite requiring guests to wear masks and have their temperature checked, a huge number of gamblers flocked inside this venue.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher isn’t asking these tribes to shut down their casinos.

“This is a decision that is for them to make, and there is a very long and very dark history of the country of white people, in particular, telling our Native Americans what they should and shouldn’t do,” he said. “I’m not going to be a part of continuing that into the future. I respect their sovereignty.”

Based on the success of the Viejas Casino, more gambling venues in California are likely to resume their operations soon. Only time will tell how this affects the Covid-19 infection rates in the state.

Mississippi and Louisiana Allow Casinos to Reopen

As we mentioned earlier, several states have officially begun allowing casinos to operate again. That includes Oklahoma and Louisiana, both of which have large and successful gambling industries. It appears the reopened casinos are already hugely popular with locals.

Oklahoma has one of the largest Native American casino industries in the country. Many of the state’s casinos reopened recently. One saw a line of hundreds of people waiting to get inside and start playing.

Louisiana has just recently begun allowing casinos to resume operations. All casinos here will reduce their capacity to just 25%. Eldorado Resorts claims it will open three of its major casinos here over the next few days.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also gave casinos the green light to open last week. He advised casinos in the state to make preparations to accept guests.

Hope is that this can be done safely. States like Nevada are still looking at the safest possible way to reopen major gaming venues. If other states are successful, Nevada could get back on track faster than many expected.

Are you surprised to see California’s casino industry reopen? Is this a smart thing to do right now? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Pechanga Casino is Likely to Open Its Doors on June 1st

California is home to one of the largest casino industries in the country. Unfortunately, all of the gambling venues here are closed down due to the spread of the new coronavirus. Interestingly, the Pechanga Casino claims that it will reopen its doors to the public on June 1st.California

That’s certainly a bold statement. California has been one of the slowest states to begin reopening. Many feel state leaders will end up shutting down this casino’s plans. Today, we’re going to discuss what exactly the owners of this gaming venue expect to happen over the next few weeks.

Let’s get into it!

California’s Casino Industry Remains Shut Down

As we just mentioned, California has one of the largest and most successful casino industries in the country. All of the state’s gaming venues are operated by Native American tribes. No commercial casinos are currently allowed to operate here.

California’s casinos bring the state a huge amount of revenue every year. These venues also employ thousands of individuals. Many of the leaders in California recognize how important these casinos are for the state’s economy.

In March, Governor Newson announced that all non-essential businesses in the state would be forced to close their doors. Obviously, this included casinos. It’s been nearly two months since these measures were set in place, and all of the casinos in this state remain closed down.

As time goes on, more individuals are starting to call for California’s economy to open back up. It won’t be easy to reopen casinos, though. Even states like Nevada, which are known to rely on their gambling industry, are having an extremely difficult time finding ways to safely reopen gambling venues to the public.

Some of the casinos in California seem to be taking things into their own hands. Despite the regulations, one major casino plans on opening its doors early next month. Here’s what we know about this situation.

Pechanga Casino Plans to Reopen on June 1st

There are many world-class gambling venues based in California. It’s been incredibly difficult for many of these casinos to remain closed. Some of the most powerful tribal leaders in the state have begun discussing real plans to resume operations.

The Pechanga Casino is one of the top gaming venues in California. For weeks, the owners of this casino have looked at ways to safely allow guests in. This includes ways to maintain social distancing.

This week, the owners announced that they plan on opening the casino on June 1st. This date has not been officially set in stone, though. They are still waiting to hear more about California’s reopening plans over the next few days. Casino officials released a statement on this situation to the media this week.

“With Gov. (Gavin) Newsom and local officials poised to relax some of the statewide and local stay-at-home orders and other measures in the days and weeks ahead, we are very happy to inform you that tribal leadership has set a target reopening time frame of June 1. The actual date will be confirmed in the days ahead,” the post said. “Guests will also very likely be required to wear face coverings.”

Non-invasive temperature checks will be required for all guests. Casino officials also announced that concerts and other events will not take place anytime soon.

The Pechanga Casino is now accepting hotel guests starting on June 1st. We’ll need to wait and see how Governor Newsom responds to this announcement. It will also be interesting to see how other casinos respond.

What’s Happening in Las Vegas Right Now?

California is taking a serious hit due to the casino shutdowns. No state is taking quite as big of a hit as Nevada, though. Cities like Las Vegas are losing millions of dollars every single day as a result of its casinos being shut down.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has been extremely cautious in allowing casinos to reopen. He understands that doing so poses a serious public health risk. He also recognizes that keeping these casinos closed down could end up permanently affecting the state.

Not long ago, Nevada’s Gaming Commission decided to approve a set of guidelines to reopen casinos. This was a huge moment for all of the casino companies in this state. If these gambling venues manage to abide by the regulations, they will likely be able to reopen in the next few weeks.

Some have concerns that tourism may not recover for months. Even if casinos reopen, many are likely to have concerns over safety and may not be willing to visit a crowded venue. In reality, though, no one really knows how the city will look over the next few months.

As infection rates begin to drop, parts of the country are starting to open back up. It’s clear that Nevada’s leaders are anxious to get Las Vegas back up and running. Based on what’s being said, some of California’s casinos will start operating soon, as well.

Are you excited to hear that the Pechanga Casino is opening back up? When do you expect casinos in Las Vegas to reopen? Let us know in the comments section below!

Graton Casino in CA Furloughs a Third of its 2,000 Employees

Graton Casino & ResortThe Graton Resort & Casino is the Bay Area’s largest gambling hub, and one of Sonoma County’s largest employers.

But with a nationwide casino shutdown that’s lasted nearly two months, the casino-resort had to look into cutting costs to survive the economic downfall caused by COVID-19.

While the company was able to pay a majority of its workers and cover healthcare benefits through April, with the realization that it might be a few more weeks until casino doors everywhere can reopen again, they were forced into looking at would drastically help their business’ bottom line.

In an effort to massively reduce payroll costs, the Graton Resort & Casino furloughed a third of its employees last Friday.

Furloughs, Lay-Offs, and Management Cuts

The company’s latest move to financially protect its assets involved not only furloughs, but complete lay-offs to recent employees, and pay cuts to upper management members, says Greg Sarris, tribal chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, owner of the casino property.

According to Sarris, recognizing that coronavirus restrictions on nonessential businesses would put off the casino reopening for weeks, it became time to look into ways to help save on payroll costs to prepare for being shut down even longer.

Workers who were with the casino property for less than 90 day were laid off, while top members of management received a 20% pay cut.

Sarris says that as the company watched the virus go from bad to worse, they started asking what they had to do to make up for lost revenue during these challenging times.

Casino Workers Likely Eligible for Unemployment Assistance

When casino workers began receiving federal checks, it started to become clear that these workers would also be eligible to receive unemployment assistance.

Realizing this made the hard decision to furlough three-quarters of the casino’s 2,000 workers a bit easier, because it gave upper management peace of mind that they would receive state unemployment assistance.

According to Graton’s general manager, Lana Rivera, 350 salaries workers remain employed currently. Another 150 workers also remain employed with the casinos, in roles ranging from casino security to cleaning crews and kitchen staff.

Impact on Sonoma County’s Hospitality Workforce

The Sonoma County hospitality workforce accounts for nearly 23,000 jobs.

According to the California Hotel & Lodging Association, over a third of the county’s hotel properties have been shut down. Countywide, there are 160 hotel properties, all of which have been impacted to varying degrees due to the coronavirus shut down.

Although pay for furlough workers has ceased, many of Sonoma county’s hotel properties continue to provide healthcare benefits for qualifying workers, according to the lodging association’s CEO, Lynn Mohrfeld.

Four-Step Plan to Reopening

Sarris says he foresees a “modest reopening” for early June, and mentioned Wynn Resorts’ prediction of a Memorial Day weekend reopening for its properties in Las Vegas.

To ease California Gov. Newsom’s concerns for the casinos reopening, Sarris has developed a four-step reopening plan.

“We will work very closely with him to reopen in phases, and it’ll look a lot like a ‘Brave New World’,” Sarris said. “Machines will be 6 feet apart and you cannot take off your mask unless you’re seated at a machine. Tables will be spaced apart and only three people allowed at a time, with the dealer heavily masked.”

The casino property’s four-stage reopening plan echoes the Governor’s four-stage plan for reopening the state’s economy. However, since the tribal casino is a sovereign nation, it isn’t tied down Newsom’s statewide order or the county’s shutdown.

Sarris says he agrees with the Governor’s data and science-based approach to dealing with the outbreak, and their property will adhere to all possible safety precautions should they reopen ahead of the governor and the county.

“I’ve never had the attitude of, ‘Well, we don’t have to do what you tell us’,” Sarris said. “We are good neighbors, and we live here, too.”

State Prepares to Reopen Retail Stores, And Restaurants in Rural Counties

This Friday, Gov. Newsom is allowing the shutdown restriction to be lifted for some retail sectors, including bookstores, clothing shops, sporting goods stores, and flower shops.

These specific retail businesses will be able to resume operations, so long as local officials give their approval, and make operational changes to support coronavirus safety measures, such as having workers wear masks and other protective equipment.

The Governor said many counties across the state are preparing to reopen retail for curbside pickup Friday, which will help maintain physical-distancing measures, which will in turn help to continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The reopening of these retail sectors are a part of Stage 2 of the Governor’s four-stage plan and includes the reopening of restaurants and hospitality in rural counties with approval from elected leaders and health officers.

Stay Tuned

With some of the restrictions being lifted in California by week’s end, it will provide some valuable insight into how well the state will fare once sectors begin reopening and should hopefully help determine when casinos in the state can open back up.

Currently, the state has 54,937 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,254 related deaths.

We hope that the Governor’s four-stage plan will help effectively prevent the further spread of COVID-19, but the fluid outbreak situation and phased reopening of sectors will need to be monitored closely before the next steps can be taken.

What do you think about California reopening retail businesses and restaurants in rural communities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.