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Casinos remain open amid statewide surges in coronavirus cases

Rolling Hills Casino remains open despite the California Gaming Commission calling for Gov. Gavin Newsom to close all casinos as coronavirus cases surge statewide.

Posted: Jul 15, 2020 7:42 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2020 9:33 AM

CORNING, Calif. -- The California Gaming Commission is calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to close all casinos, including tribal casinos.

However, tribal casinos are on sovereign land which means it can operate outside of state decisions.

Earlier this month, Newsom said he had been working with tribe leaders on how to safely maneuver through the pandemic.

Rolling Hills Casino is a tribal casino that closed its doors in March, but reopened two months later after putting in many COVID-19 safety measures.

"We're going to continue providing the safest environment possible. In this day and age, nothing is completely free of risk. We all recognize that. We want to eliminate as much of that as we can and we feel good about what we've done. We also feel good about the success that we've had in doing that," said Rolling Hills General Manager Steve Neely.

The casino has had more than 100,000 people come through its doors since reopening late May.

Since then, they feel confident about staying open.

Rolling Hills employs roughly 500 people throughout the community.

"It's very important to us. It's stability for the tribe, it's stability for our employees, and it's stability for the community as well," said Chairman Andrew Alejandre.

Neely doubled down on any concerns to the health and safety of those who enter Rolling Hills Casino.

"We take it very seriously. We take your safety very seriously because we're going to be here for a long time and the only way we can do that is by taking care of the people that entrust is to do that," said Neely.

He also told Action News Now that he believes the casino is second to none in following COVID-19 related precautions.

Some of those precautions include temperature checks, mandatory mask use, and increased sanitizing practices to name a few.

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Although we're a little cooler in northern California today, the wind is already blowing and our weather will get hotter and windier this weekend. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect for our area tonight through Monday evening.
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