UPDATE 4:29 p.m.:
A statement on the casino’s website Thursday afternoon, April 9, shows employees are still being paid during the closure.
ORIGINAL 1:11 p.m.:
All Chickasaw Nation-owned businesses including WinStar World Casino that are already closed to limit the spread of COVID-19 will stay closed through April 30, Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby announced today, Thursday, April 9.
Many of WinStar’s associated businesses closed down at midnight March 16 as a precaution. The casino, retail stores and casino restaurants were closed in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
“We are extending these measures on the advice of health professionals who believe current social distancing measures are beginning to help slow the spread of the virus,” Anoatubby said in a press release. “Health professionals studying the pandemic closely stress that continued commitment to social distancing practices is our best tool to minimize the spread of this virus.” He added that the health of family and friends “is a powerful incentive for each of us to honor our personal responsibility as we fight this global pandemic.”
“Doctors and nurses, maintenance, administration and support staff on the front lines of this battle deserve our support and appreciation,” Anoatubby continued.
When many WinStar businesses closed March 16, the WinStar World Casino Hotel remained open, the Register previously reported, as did Fun Town RV Park.
Two restaurants — The Terrace View Café inside the hotel and Legends Bar and Grill — continued operating but are serving pickup orders only, a spokeswoman for the casino said in March.
WinStar Golf Course and the casino’s golf academy, as well as The Inn at WinStar, are closed, a listing of cancellations and closures posted to chickasaw.net shows.
The Chickasaw Nation operates 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.