Sycuan Casino Resort responds to Dr. Wilma Wooten’s claim to have jurisdiction over them
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine announced plans last week to reopen on May 18 and Sycuan Casino Resort plans to open May 20. Local casinos have been closed for nearly two months.
Wednesday at the San Diego County daily press briefing, Dr. Wilma Wooten was asked about the San Diego County tribal casinos reopening, and said San Diego County had a problem with those dates.
She struggled to give any detail in her extended response, but asserted she disagrees with the reopening. Wooten also admitted she has not seen the casinos safety regulations they plan to implement in order to reopen, but said she is against it anyway.
Bingo and poker will not be part of the phased reopening at Sycuan. Restaurants will operate for limited hours and gaming areas will require appropriate spacing between players and staff, executives said.
Table games will be limited to a maximum of three players per table and every other slot machine will be turned off to create space between players. Patrons and staff will have to have their temperatures checked, wear masks at all times and maintain physical distancing.
As you may know, the tribal casinos operate on tribal lands, and they say the San Diego County Public Health Officer has no jurisdiction to rule over them.
Dr. Wilma Wooten feels differently, saying she will work with the CDC to figure out how to prevent the reopening of the casinos.
In response to Dr. Wilma Wooten’s threat, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation Chief Administrative Officer Adam Day wrote:
“We disagree with any legal interpretation that allows the county any jurisdiction over activities on a tribal reservation. We share the same concern for public health and safety, and that is why our re-opening plan incorporates all federal, state and county public health guidance and industry best practices – over 700 different requirements to be approved by our regulators. We are highly confident our patrons and employees will be as safe as possible as we slowly re-open our facility in phases over time.”
Sycuan Casino Resort announced recently that the organization has created and implemented an extensive and aggressive health and sanitation program to safeguard guests, team members and the surrounding community.
The new program outlines several new initiatives throughout the property to ensure a safe and healthy environment upon reopening.
“Our new health and sanitation program is extremely important to Sycuan, because it demonstrates our commitment to protecting the health and safety of our guests, team members and community as a whole,” said Cody J. Martinez, chairman, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. “We are taking all of these new safety measures very seriously and will continue to improve and implement processes as needed for our reopening. We want everyone to feel confident that we’re doing all we can to safeguard their health while they stay and play at Sycuan Casino Resort.”
Sycuan’s team will begin using thermal cameras for temperature detection for both guests and team members. All guests and team members are required to wear a face covering, and points of entry into the property will be limited to allow.
Chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Cody J. Martinez discussed the new protocols on Good Morning San Diego earlier this week. That complete interview can be seen here or below.