Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa closing today, Seminole Gaming says

Friday 20th March 2020

The shutdown comes at 6 p.m. Friday to protect the "health and safety of guests" as the coronavirus spreads.

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TAMPA -- Citing the "health and safety of guests" as the coronavirus spreads, the Seminole Tribe of Florida will temporarily close its six Florida casinos by 6 p.m. today.

That includes the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.

"This decision was not taken lightly as Seminole Gaming employs nearly 14,000 Seminole Gaming team members in the state," the Tribe said in a statement released on their website. "The goal has been to protect their livelihood without jeopardizing public safety. We have now reached a point where we do not feel comfortable taking that risk.

"Hotel guests will be contacted directly to accommodate their current bookings and needs, wherever possible."

On Tuesday, the Seminole Tribe closed its poker room, turned off many slot machines to add distance between gamblers and limited the number of players at table games.

State Representative Jackie Toledo, who held a press conference this week urging the Seminole Hard Rock Casino to fully close its doors, applauded the decision.

"The health and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance as we battle this pandemic and operating the casino presents a health risk to workers, patrons, and our community at-large," Toledo, a Tampa Republican, said in a statement.

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