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LATEST UPDATES: Racial Justice | Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Casino Pauma To Remain Closed, Bucking Local Tribal Casino Trend

The entrance to Casino Pauma in an undated photo.

Credit: Casino Pauma

Above: The entrance to Casino Pauma in an undated photo.

Casino Pauma announced Wednesday that it will remain closed for the time being in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, bucking the trend of many local tribal casinos that have moved to reopen this week.

The casino has been closed since March 15 and will remain shuttered until further notice, according to a statement released on the casino's website.

"It is very important to the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians and Casino Pauma leadership that we continue to demonstrate that `Where People Come First' is more than a slogan," said Jim Thomason, general manager of Casino Pauma.

"Chairman Temet Aguilar, the Tribal Council and Casino Pauma leadership do not believe in gambling with the health and safety of our guests, our team members or the community. In the spirit of our sovereign-to-sovereign relationship, we will continue to follow Governor Newsom's recommendations or until we are more confident it is safe for us to reopen."

Reported by John Carroll , Video by Amal Younis

Casino officials say they will implement safety protocols in preparation for the casino's eventual reopening.

"We encourage everyone to be safe, patient and compassionate as we battle to contain COVID-19 and look forward to welcoming our guests back once the restrictions have been lifted." Thomason said.

Elsewhere in San Diego County, Sycuan Casino and Viejas Casino and Resort have reopened, while Jamul Casino is set to reopen on Thursday and Valley View Casino & Hotel and Harrah's Resort Southern California will reopen Friday.

All five casinos are on tribal land, meaning they are not subject to the same state regulations that have limited most business operations in California.

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