LAWTON - With more businesses reopening across Oklahoma, several of the region’s tribal casinos will be following suit shortly.
However, in order to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, patrons should not expect business as usual at their casino of choice.
On Friday, the Fort Sill Apache Tribe Economic Development Authority Board announced it would reopen its Apache Casino Hotel at 10 a.m. Thursday with limited hours and amenities as part of a phased relaunch.
When it reopens, the property will be completely smoke-free until further notice. Along with a temperature check at the door, all guests and employees will be required to wear masks that cover both the nose and mouth. In order to maintain an accurate occupancy count, guests will only be able to use the front two entrances.
To help enforce social distancing, every other slot machine will be turned off and elevator capacity will be limited to four people. Although table games will be available, participation will be limited to three people per table until new plexiglass dividers can be installed.
The casino will be closed from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily for deep cleaning on top of the sanitization efforts going on during the day. The hotel’s valet service, fitness center, pool, business center and lobby will remain closed for now.
Meanwhile, Comanche Nation Entertainment is staggering its reopening dates, with its Lawton and Devol casinos scheduled to open at 8 a.m. on May 29. Comanche Spur Casino in Elgin will reopen at 10 a.m. on June 1, while Comanche Star Casino in Walters will reopen an hour later.
Headquartered in Anadarko, the Delaware Nation is scheduled to reopen its casinos in Hinton and Anadarko on Friday as well. Both properties will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with reduced occupancy. Guests are not required to wear masks, but are encouraged to do so.
Also headquartered in Anadarko, the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes announced on Friday that its Sugar Creek Casino would tentatively remain closed through June 1, along with its child development center and government offices. “At some point, we have to find some normalcy amid the COVID-19 as this will be around for a long time,” Wichita and Affiliated Tribes President Terri Parton said. “We encourage our tribal members, employees and community to continue to follow social distancing and other guidelines to help protect you, your family and our community.”
As of noon Monday, neither the Kiowa Tribe nor the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma have announced when their casinos will reopen.
Statewide, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kickapoo Tribe, Modoc Tribe, Quapaw Tribe, and Seneca-Cayuga Tribe have all announced plans to reopen their casinos at least partially prior to Memorial Day. As of noon Monday, the
Absentee Shawnee, Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Tonkawa Tribe, Kaw Nation, Osage Nation, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Pawnee Nation, Peoria Tribe, Iowa Tribe and the Sac and Fox Nation have all already reopened at least one of their casinos.