An Oregon casino closed down due to an employee contracting the coronavirus. Wildhorse Resort in Pendleton, Oregon, became the first US casino to cease operations in relation to the COVID-19 scare.
More than 3,000 people worldwide, including six in the US, have died from the COVID-19 virus in recent weeks. It was only a matter of time before it began affecting the gambling world.
Wildhorse Resort, about 200 miles from Portland, is located on an Indian reservation and offers all of the standard amenities found in Las Vegas-style casino resorts, including a poker room, hotel, casino floor, and multiple dining options. At least, it did offer those amenities before temporarily closing down on Monday.
Coronavirus Forces Closure
An employee at the Wildhorse Resort caught the coronavirus, becoming the third person diagnosed in Oregon. State health officials say the virus will likely spread throughout the state. The employee is currently hospitalized in Walla Walla, Washington, less than an hour from the casino.
In response to the employee’s health condition, the casino closed its doors immediately. The coronavirus is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. COVID-19 patients can experience symptoms ranging from the common cold to severe breathing issues, potentially causing death.
There isn’t a treatment or vaccine yet available, although doctors are attempting to find a cure. Due to the harmful nature of the virus, Wildhorse is temporarily closed. The casino released a statement on Facebook explaining the situation.
“In an abundance of caution, Wildhorse Resort & Casino will close immediately complete a thorough and deep cleaning as a response to reports as a response of a presumptive positive case of Covid-19,” the post stated.
Further details on when the casino will reopen are unknown at this time
Threat to Poker and Gambling Community?
With the likelihood of the coronavirus spreading across the US, many poker players are concerned for their safety at casinos. Those concerns include the upcoming World Series of Poker in May, which could be postponed should the virus spread throughout Las Vegas.
For the time being, WSOP execs are planning for another exciting summer in Sin City. But poker room and tournament operators must take precautions should the virus continue spreading in the US.
Wildhorse is the first casino in the US to close down temporarily due to the COVID-19 scare, and likely won’t be the last. Last month, China’s gambling capital of Macau was forced to shut its casinos down in response to thousands in China contracting the coronavirus.