California tribal casino sets stricter safety requirements than government


Casinos have recently come under fire as potential hotbeds of Covid-19 infection. At least tribal-run California casino wants to make sure its going above and beyond to prove that’s not the case.

The Sycuan Casino Resort in San Diego, California has updated its safety requirements for guests, getting much stricter about what types of face coverings are deemed acceptable. “Effective immediately, bandanas, gaiters and face coverings with valves are no longer allowed as viable face covering options,” their site now reads.

They won’t be refusing guests though. Eddike Ilko, the casino’s safety manager, has said that guests not wearing appropriate masks will be provided with one.

This requirement now goes a step beyond what either the county of San Diego or the State of California require. Even a simple bandana is fine with the government, but it’s not good enough for the casino. With guests having trouble adhering to social distancing norms, the new requirement had to come.

“A lot of times, people aren’t within that 6-foot social distance, so we want to be able to add an extra layer of protection,” Ilko said of the reason for the policy change. “So if it just means requiring certain types of masks, that’s not a lot to ask.”

The Sycuan, as well as several other tribal casinos in California, reopened in mid-May. San Diego County have found some cases of Covid-19 of those who’ve visited the casino, but haven’t identified any outbreak or three or more cases tied to any specific casino.

Keeping safety precautions that are more stringent than what the government requires likely plays some part in that. However, despite Nevada casinos also doing their best to stay safe and attract new customers, researchers still worry that casino visitors could in fact be causing an outbreak.

A recent study showed that visitors to Las Vegas had spread out to almost the entire United States within the same weekend of their visit. If a portion of them had contracted the coronavirus, they could help spread it throughout the entire country.