All Chickasaw Nation-owned businesses including WinStar World Casino and Border Casino that are already closed to limit the spread of COVID-19 will stay closed through May 15, Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby announced today, Tuesday, April 28.
The casinos and many of WinStar’s associated businesses closed down at midnight March 16 as a precaution. The casinos, retail stores and casino restaurants were closed in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
“Health professionals advise that recent measures enacted to help mitigate the spread of the virus are beginning to work because of widespread participation," Anoatubby said in a press release. "From health care workers and others working on the front lines of this pandemic to those who are staying home, we must all work together to continue this progress."
He added Chickasaw Nation leadership continue to monitor data related to the COVID-19 pandemic as they develop a plan for phased reopening.
When many WinStar businesses closed March 16, the WinStar World Casino Hotel remained open, the Register previously reported, as did Fun Town RV Park.
Employees who were not continuing to work were to be paid during the closure. A statement on Winstar's website showed employees were still being paid and receiving benefits as of Monday, April 27.
Legends Bar and Grill also closed, its website shows, after having transitioned to pickup orders in March. The Terrace View Café inside the hotel had continued operating for pickup orders only, but it's unclear whether it's still doing so.
WinStar Golf Course and the casino’s golf academy and pro shop, as well as The Inn at WinStar, are closed, a listing of cancellations and closures posted to chickasaw.net shows.
The Chickasaw Nation operates both Border Casino and WinStar World Casino and Resort near Thackerville, Oklahoma, just north of Gainesville. With about 600,000 square feet of gaming area, WinStar ranks among the largest casinos in the world, according to several roundups listing large casinos by square footage. It seats 3,500 in its Global Event Center.
More than 3,700 people are employed at the casino and in its hospitality and restaurant arms, according to a 2018 fact sheet posted on the casino’s website. More than 2,300 of those employees hail from Texas.