The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which operates the Prairie Knights Casino and Resort in North Dakota, has announced that it voted to reopen the property on Friday, May 15.
According to tribe officials, they are taking the necessary precautions and will make the necessary changes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"There’s going to be a new business normal that we’re going to be faced with. Protective barriers, PPE for staff, keeping employees safe, keeping guests safe. It’s all going to be a new normal for us," said Everett Iron Eyes Jr., the general manager of the casino and resort.
Every other slot machine will be available to play, all card and gaming tables will be closed and the pool in the resort area will also be closed.
I think we can do it safely. What it’s going to require is a group effort. People are going to have to help do their part to keep themselves safe along with the measures we have in place. If all of that falls into place we should have good results," Iron Eyes added.
With almost 280 employees, the casino plays a huge role in the tribe’s economy, with 30% of its programming funds coming from casino revenue.
While they have endured economic difficulties in the past, nothing compares to this pandemic.
"For the eight, seven/eight weeks we are completely shut down. There is no revenue being generated. In fact, it was scarce in the beginning because we wanted to keep our employees on and continue with those benefits. But we didn’t know where those dollars would come from," shared Brandon Mauai, a Standing Rocking Sioux Tribal Councilman.