Tribal casinos across Phoenix area planning to reopen Friday
PHOENIX — Tribal-run casinos across metro Phoenix have announced plans to resume gaming and other operations Friday with new safety restrictions in place.
The Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino south of Phoenix will reopen after being closed for about two months because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ak-Chin Tribal Council approved the reopening with enhanced social distancing measures and with some amenities of the casino remaining remain closed. The casino has been closed since March 19.
The Ak-Chin casino floor will be open for slot machines and limited blackjack tables that allow for proper social distancing.
The poker room, keno and bingo tables will remain closed indefinitely.
Ak-Chin will open some of its dining options, and the casino’s hotel will offer reservations beginning Friday night.
Fort McDowell will also start taking reservations for its Wekopa Resort and Conference Center next to the casino.
The poker rooms at Gila River’s Wild Horse Pass in Chandler and Vee Quiva in Laveen have been removed to make space for a non-smoking slots area with appropriate distance between machines. Vee Quiva’s bingo games will have limited capacity, and the bingo room at Gila River’s Lone Butte casino in Chandler will temporarily remain closed.
Gila River’s two hotels, at Wild Horse Pass and Vee Quiva, are scheduled to reopen June 15.
Individual tribes have control over decisions about reopening their casinos, regardless of statewide stay-at-home orders, according to the the Arizona Department of Gaming.
The Talking Stick Resort near Scottsdale is planning to keep its hotel and casino closed at least through the end of May.