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Muscogee (Creek) Nation announces temporary closure of casinos

16 March 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill and River Spirit Casino Resort Chief Executive Officer Pat Crofts announced today the temporary closure of all nine Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos, including River Spirit Casino Resort.

While River Spirit Casino Resort and the other casino properties have no reported cases of COVID-19, the temporary closure is due to guidelines by the National Center for Disease Control in order to assist public efforts to reduce exposure to the virus.

The temporary closure begins tonight, at midnight (12:00 am CST), through at least Tuesday, March 31, 2020, when officials will evaluate re-opening based on current information from the CDC.

“As a Nation and a community, we must lead by example. The temporary closure of all Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos, including River Spirit Casino Resort’s hotel and restaurants, is in the best interest of the safety of our guests and employees,” Chief Hill said. “While there is great uncertainty on the business and community impact, we must all work together and be proactive to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the public-at-large.”

Chief Hill and officials confirmed the 2,200 employees at Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos and River Spirit Casino Resort will continue to be paid through the end of the month. The temporary closure includes casinos in Beggs, Holdenville, Eufaula, Bristow, Checotah, Okemah and River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa. The travel plaza casinos in Muskogee and Okmulgee will close, but the convenience stores remain open to serve the public in need of essentials.

“Our Nation’s citizens and employees have already faced a remarkable test of endurance last year during the closure due to historic flooding,” Chief Hill said. “Once again, we are rising to the challenge together and doing our part to benefit the communities in which we live and serve.”

Leading up to the closure, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos increased its cleaning protocols and added anti-bacterial stations throughout the facilities to help combat the unintentional spread of the virus.

“While educating employees and guests about the CDC guidelines and dedicating additional resources for cleaning has been impactful, it is now clear that a more extensive action is necessary,” said Crofts. “We will continue to monitor the national guidelines and will reopen River Spirit Casino Resort and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we will continue to support our employees and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.”

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