Casino Pauma holds off on reopening, adhering to Gov. Newsom's request

Wednesday 20th May 2020

Casino Pauma in northern San Diego County announced Wednesday, May 20, that it will remain closed until further notice, a move that contrasts with what several other casinos have done.

Casino officials announced via a news release that they would stay closed to follow the advice of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the guidance of government and health officials.

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

The announcement follows a letter that Gov. Gavin Newsom sent to tribal leaders, appealing to them to reconsider reopening.

"This deeply concerns me, and I urge tribal governments to reconsider and instead make those determinations based on how they align with current local public health conditions and the statewide stage of reopening," Newsom wrote in the letter.

Casinos throughout Southern California have recently announced reopening plans either for the end of this month or June and that list includes Pechanga Resort Casino; Cahuilla Casino Hotel; Soboba Casino Resort; Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa; Harrah's Resort Southern California and Valley View Casino & Hotel.

Casino Pauma, which closed on March 15, has been doing some business while it stays closed, opening its Pizza Deli restaurant for curbside pickup from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Orders can be placed on the casino's website.

The news release noted that while the casino remains closed, it has been implementing and preparing safety protocols and preventive measures for when it does reopen.

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