The Navajo Nation extends gaming closures until June 7th

Coronavirus

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

FLAGSTAFF ARIZONA (ABC4 News) The Navajo Nation’s Gaming Enterprise Board of Directors have approved the continued closure of all Navajo Gaming operations in support of the Navajo Nation President and Vice President’s Executive Order. A measure taken to keep fighting the coronavirus in one of the hardest hit places.

In a press release sent to ABC4 News:

Navajo Gaming and its executive team members have worked in partnership, monitoring the COVID pandemic and its spread, with Navajo Area Indian Health Service, Navajo Nation Department of Health and the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, as well as the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch. Together they are assuring protocols are adhered to in accordance with guidelines and Executive Orders.

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“In conjunction with the Navajo Nation’s commitment to protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the Navajo People, the Team Members of all Navajo enterprises and guests, the Navajo Gaming Board of Directors approved the ongoing closure extension of all its casino facilities through June 7, 2020,” shared Quincy Natay, Navajo Gaming Board Chairman. “During this time of closure, the Board of Directors also approved keeping all team members on a paid status. With 82 percent of our staff enrolled members of the Navajo Nation and residing on the Nation, we want to make sure our team did not have to face additional hardships as they continue to do their part by staying home and helping flatten the curve. We continue to monitor the situation and focus on how Gaming can help slow down of the spread of COVID-19 in our nearby communities and region.”

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)


Throughout the casino closure period every team member at Navajo Gaming has maintained their health care benefits extended to them through Gaming’s self-funded program.  And, since the COVID-19 pandemic an additional benefit was added with a new Employee Assistance Program, provided by Jorgensen Brooks. Some of the specialized services provided are: marital and relationship, stress management, parenting, substance abuse, financial concerns, loss and grief, depression, in addition to personal care consultation with a sundry of legal advice to how to prepare for college. “We are very pleased and proud to keep our team members employed with all health benefits during this pandemic,” stated Interim CEO Brian Parrish.

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“While we continue to do our part to ‘flatten the curve,’ we’ve also prepared a phased reopening plan with extensive countermeasures so patrons and team members are assured they’ll have a safe and sanitary casino/resort experience to visit once it is prudent to reopen,” shared Interim CEO Brian Parrish.

New Mexico State Police and National Guard soldiers are stationed at a roadblock off Interstate 40 on the eastern edge of Gallup, New Mexico, on Thursday, May 7, 2020. State and local authorities are weighing their options for containing the spread of coronavirus at a normally busy gateway to the Navajo Nation on the possible expiration date for an emergency lockdown on the city of Gallup. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)


Parrish added, “These actions and decisions by our organization reinforce our commitment to protecting our guests and team members. We want to thank members of our community – our host chapters – for their support during this time and let them know how much we look forward to the time when it is again safe to serve them at our fine Navajo Gaming locations. Within the next two weeks, we will be sending out additional information as to the “new normal” protocols for our gaming and hotel properties.”

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“Our deepest appreciation to all first responders, the front-line medical team of doctors, nurses, emergency technicians, emergency transporters, police officers: Navajo, state and county, those staff members still working on the front-line to make sure our Diné people are safe and sheltered at home. Ahéhéé,” Parrish also added. “During this time Navajo Gaming has provided support to numerous chapters, hospitals and the Navajo Nation Emergency Command centers with contributions of essential PPE, cleaning supplies and food. We are doing our part to support our Navajo People during this pandemic,” stated Parrish.

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