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Seneca Nation to close casinos and gaming and entertainment venues over coronavirus concerns

Effective at 8pm Monday, the Nation’s three casino resort properties in Niagara Falls, Salamanca, and Buffalo will temporarily close

SALAMANCA, N.Y. — The Seneca Nation of Indians has announced they will temporarily close their gaming facilities in an effort to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Effective at 8pm Monday, the Nation’s three casino resort properties in Niagara Falls, Salamanca, and Buffalo, as well as the Seneca Gaming & Entertainment operations in Irving, Salamanca, and Cuba will temporarily close.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented public safety situation that requires an unprecedented response,” said Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong, Sr. in a released statement.  “Given the number of people who visit and work at our facilities, I believe it is in the best interest to suspend our gaming operations until further notice. We are keeping the health and safety of our workers, our guests and our communities above all else.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that effective at 8pm Monday evening, crowd capacity at public and private venues will be limited to 50 people. 

Cuomo joined the governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and announced they have agreed to close bars, restaurants, movie theaters and casinos starting at 8 p.m. Monday. 

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The nation is also temporarily closing on-territory facilities and changes to identified services, effective immediately.  Essential services, such as the elders’ meal program, health services and emergency services will continue, but may be adjusted to reduce unnecessary contact.   

 “Our sole focus, as a Nation, is to do everything practicable to ensure the health and safety of every Seneca Nation member to the best of our ability,” said President Armstrong said. “We will do whatever possible and responsible to ensure that our people, particularly our elders, continue to receive the services they need. That is our commitment. The measures going into effect today, while significant, are, in our determination, necessary and appropriate to safeguard the health and welfare of our people and our territories with as little disruption to our people, including our Nation employees, and the quality of life on our territories as we can control.” 

“As a unified Seneca community, it is incumbent upon each of us to adjust to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and to do everything we can to keep ourselves, our families and our territories safe while the full public response to this situation plays out,” President Armstrong added. “As we continue to work together, I am confident that the Seneca Nation, our people, and our territories will withstand this unprecedented public health event as strongly and effectively as possible.”