By Angel Ellis/Reporter
TULSA, Oklahoma– The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casino shut down has been extended until at least April 30, according to a recent press release issued by SixPR on April 9.
The tribal gaming facilities have been closed due to safety precautions in the wake of COVID-19 since March 16.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill and River Spirit Casino Resort Chief Executive Officer Pat Crofts made the announcement of the extended closure. While none of the tribal gaming facilities ever reported positive COVID-19 cases, officials have voluntarily shut down operations as a precaution.
Chief Hill confirmed Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos and River Spirit Casino Resort would maintain payroll and benefits for the 2,200 employees through April 30. Margaritaville’s 150 employees working restaurant and entertainment venues will also continue being paid.
After April 30 officials will review forecasts by federal health officials.
According to the release the tribe is focused on being a good leader in a crisis.
‘This is an unprecedented public health crisis,’ Hill said. ‘As a leader and primary employer in the communities in which we live and serve, we must confront this extremely challenging time together.’
‘As the pandemic continues to intensify in Oklahoma we ask our citizens and employees to also do their part in helping to stop its progression by remaining at home with their loved ones during this critical time.’
River Spirit Chief Executive Officer Pat Crofts said, ‘While there is still much uncertainty about the continued impact of this ongoing and in increasingly complex crisis, the health and well-being of our guests and employees remains our top priority.’
‘Our dedicated team of employees have already shown their resiliency last year during the historic flood event and have tremendous pride in their work,’ Crofts said.
‘We look forward to the day they can return to their posts so we may continue providing top-tier hospitality and entertainment experiences to our guest.
The 2,200 employee’s payroll totals about $3.4 million every two weeks. Over the course of three pay periods the MCN will have invested $10.2 million in economic stability during one of the most stinging economic down turns.