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News >  Spokane

Spokane Tribe Casino closing due to COVID-19

UPDATED: Tue., March 17, 2020

The Spokane Tribe Casino in Airway Heights, seen in January 2017, will close for at least two weeks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokane Tribe Casino in Airway Heights, seen in January 2017, will close for at least two weeks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Tribe Casino in Airway Heights closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday, following casinos across the state that have shut down to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The Spokane Tribe of Indians also closed its Chewelah Casino. In a statement, the general managers of the two casinos said employees will continue receiving paychecks for the next two weeks, at which point the tribe will re-evaluate the COVID-19 pandemic and decide whether to reopen them.

The tribe previously had kept the casinos open with some services eliminated or curtailed. Visitors could still buy drinks on the gambling floor, but they could not sit at the bar, and restaurant service had ceased. Those using slot machines were required to sit with at least one empty machine between them. The casino opened for business in January 2018.

At least nine other tribes in Washington have shuttered casinos due to the outbreak. The Kalispel Tribe of Indians on Monday closed Northern Quest Resort & Casino, also in Airway Heights, after learning a recent visitor had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel had not announced any closures as of Tuesday. A notice on the casino’s website said leaders were monitoring the situation and had ramped up sanitation efforts.

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