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Navajo Nation casinos shut down due to virus

Navajo Nation casinos shut down due to virus

CHURCH ROCK, N.M.

The four casinos operated by the Navajo Nation are closing due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The Navajo Nation Gaming board or directors sent a memo temporarily shutting all four casinos — Fire Rock Casino, Twin Arrows Casino, Northern Edge Casino, and Flowing Water Navajo Casino — for three weeks.

Prior to approval of the shutdown, at Fire Rock casino patrons’ temperatures were checked at the front entrance with a thermometer.

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The gaming board said the casinos would reopen on April 6, according to the memo,

On Monday, President Jonathan Nez said the tribe will lose about $3- to 5 million in casino revenue.

“The health and well-being of our Navajo people is of utmost importance and not just profit,” Nez said.

“We did send a letter to the gaming enterprise, telling them to shut the casinos down,” Nez said. “They’re gonna have to consider losing millions of dollars for closing.”

Vinton Shack and his wife, Valerie Kellestewa, both from Zuni, said they support the casino closings.

“It’s kind of scary,” Shack said. “It’s kind of spreading real quick. It’s all over.”

Shack and Kallestewa said they plan to spend more time with their kids at home.

During the shutdown, gaming employees are to stay in contact with their supervisors.

To date, Nez said there are no confirmed cases reported on the reservation.



About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero is an award-winning Diné journalist, who is based in Window Rock, Arizona. He can be contacted at dq@navajotimes.com.

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