Casino in Sonoma County to Host Indoor New Year's Eve Party With 4,000 Guests

Thursday 24th December 2020

Health officer says the Native American owner is a sovereign nation and not subject to county or state public health orders

A casino on a Native American reservation in Sonoma County is planning a massive indoor New Year's Eve party despite public health orders banning such gatherings, according to county officials.

Graton Resort and Casino outside Rohnert Park plans to host the private party with 4,000 guests, county officials said during a virtual news conference Wednesday.

Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, which owns the casino, is a sovereign nation and not subject to county or state public health orders, Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said during the news conference.

Mase added the casino has been open for the duration of the pandemic, and the operator has taken steps to reduce the risk of party attendees contracting the coronavirus. She also said bars at the casino are closed and walk-up alcohol service ends at 9 p.m.

The home page on Graton's website says the casino will become a "private venue" and close to the public from 5 p.m. Dec. 31 until 4 a.m. Jan. 1.

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