Some tribes shutting down casinos to slow spread of coronavirus

As of noon on Tuesday, Quinault Beach Resort & Casino in Ocean Shores and the Shoalwater Bay Casino in Tokeland are still open and running, but that could change in the days to come as tribal officials are still making decisions on a day-to-day basis, according to staff members answering phones at those casinos

Meanwhile, other casinos around Western Washington are shutting down temporarily as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.

Little Creek Casino has suspended casino oerations, though its hotel and Salish Cliffs Golf Club remain open and take-out food options may be available at specific dining locations in the resort.

Quinault Beach temporarily shut down its buffet late last week.

And a concert there by The Spinners, set for April 3, has been canceled. Little Creek is issuing full refunds to anyone who made a purchase for tickets. At that point, it may take up to seven business days to confirm and post your refund through your banking institution. For questions please call 360-432-7300 or send an email to

The Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel near Oakville has suspended all operations through the end of the month, effective Tuesday night.

A press release issued by the Lucky Eagle stated: “Although there have been no known cases of COVID-19 reported at Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel, we are taking this pre-emptive measure given the nature of our business and the number of people that visit our property each day. This measure aligns with those taken by Washington State and as recommended by public health officials.

“Our team members will be paid two weeks of emergency leave during this time and it is our hope this decision will support broader efforts of social distancing for both our team members and our guests. Such measures will make the most difference if we all do our part.

At this time, we plan to re-open on Wednesday, April 1. We will continue to update our guests through the Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel website and Facebook page.”

Elsewhere, the Suquamish, Puyallup, Tulalip, Muckleshoot, Lummi and Cowlitz tribes announced Monday they are shutting down their casino operations for two weeks. More casino closures around Western Washington are expected.

For any tribe, the decision is financially painful. The tribes’ casinos fund crucial tribal government programs, as well as charitable donations to their surrounding communities, from education, health and public safety to cultural programs, courts, elder care and more.

Tribes already have canceled large events at their casinos and implemented medical-grade cleaning at their casino properties, which at the most urban venues see thousands of customers daily and employ hundreds of people at every shift. Tribes around the state already had canceled large events at their casino properties, from concerts to poker tournaments.

The Puyallup Tribe also shut both of its Emerald Queen casino locations and will assess what to do after the two-week closure. “We are in this together,” said the Puyallup tribal council in a news release Monday afternoon.

Employees at the properties will continue to be paid and receive benefits as usual. The tribe is the 7th-largest employer in Pierce County, with more than 3,000 employees, government-wide.

The Seattle Times contributed to this story.