x

Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Choctaw Casinos & Resorts suspend operations

This includes casinos and travel plaza gaming locations, resorts and concert venues.

POCOLA, Okla. — As a public health precaution to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma decided to temporarily suspend all Choctaw Casinos & Resorts operations effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 16, 2020, until further notice. 

This includes casinos and travel plaza gaming locations, resorts and concert venues.

Given how quickly this situation is evolving, the Choctaw Nation will continue to provide updates on the website and via social media channels.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our guests, associates, vendors, entertainment partners and individuals in the communities in which we are located,” states Chief Gary Batton. “Choctaw has been closely monitoring the constantly evolving situation regarding COVID-19, and based on the latest information from local, state and federal health officials, we feel it is our responsibility to do what we can to help reduce the rapid spread of this disease.”

The following are detailed closings, postponements and cancellations:

  • All Choctaw Casinos in Durant, Grant, Pocola, McAlester, Broken Bow, Idabel and Stringtown are closed effective 11:59 p.m. on March 16.
  • Travel Plazas. All gaming inside Choctaw Travel Plazas is temporarily suspended. Guests may still purchase gasoline and other items inside Travel Plaza stores.
  • All concerts at the Grand Theater are postponed through April 3. Please check the Choctaw Casino & Resort events page for new dates. If you purchased tickets through Ticketmaster and prefer to receive a refund now, you must request one by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. We encourage you to hold on to your tickets, though, as they will be honored for the rescheduled date. Ticketmaster is the official ticketing agent for the Choctaw Grand Theater. All other ticket sellers are considered third party agencies. Third party ticket sellers may have a refund policy. You will want to reach out to that company directly for more information regarding refunds for postponed or rescheduled shows.
  • Casino Events & Promotions. These are temporarily suspended. This information will be made available on our promotions page on our website.

Hotel Cancellation Policy. All hotels will be closed until further notice. Hotel guests staying this evening will be able to check out tomorrow morning.

  • If you already had plans to visit in the upcoming weeks, please contact, 888-652-4628 where a guest service representative will work with you to accommodate your needs.
  • The District. All venues and related events and activities are closed effective March 17. This includes the movie theater, bowling and arcade.

The Choctaw Nation wants to reiterate, we have no reports of cases of COVID-19 connected to associates at any Choctaw Casinos & Resorts Properties or related businesses at this time.

Further updates with additional details will be provided as needed.

Cherokee Casinos and Resorts have also taken the same measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Indigo Sky Casino will also close its doors starting Wednesday, March 18 at 6 p.m. through April 2nd.

American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller released the following statement on the economic toll the COVID-19 outbreak is having on the U.S. casino gaming industry:

“An estimated 616,000 casino gaming employees are prevented from working because of the important health and safety decisions made by state governments. Nearly all (95%) of the country’s 465 commercial casinos, and three-in-four (76%) of the country’s 524 tribal casinos, have shuttered their doors. The impact on our employees, their families, and communities is staggering, and the implications extend far beyond the casino floor. Leading technology companies that supply the industry, and the nearly 350,000 small business employees that rely on gaming for their livelihood, are also feeling the devastating blow of this unprecedented public health crisis. The federal government must act swiftly and comprehensively to get America’s hospitality employees, and the small businesses that support them, back to work. Gaming employees, their families, and communities are bearing the brunt of this economic standstill and will continue to suffer if Congress and the administration don’t take immediate action. In total, these mass closures will rob the U.S. economy of $43.5 billion in economic activity if American casinos remain closed for the next eight weeks. Gaming is an economic engine, employing millions of local residents, generating community investment through vital tax revenue, and supporting small businesses in communities all across the country.”

Background

  • Casino closures risk nearly $74 billion in total wages annually for workers and their families.
  • Casino gaming supports $41 billion in annual tax revenue and tribal revenue sharing nationwide – essential support for local hospitals, first responders, and vital public services.
  • Half the jobs our industry supports are at non-gaming businesses such as restaurants and local shops – all will be dramatically affected by a local casino’s closure.
  • Casino gaming is vital to local small businesses, delivering $52 billion annually in small business revenue, including construction, manufacturing, retail, and wholesale firms. More information on COVID-19’s impact on U.S. casino industry workers and local communities is available here.