Tribal casinos in Washington closing due to coronavirus

SEATTLE -- Numerous Native American Tribes around the state are temporarily closing their casinos because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Kalispel Tribe of Indians announced this week that it’s Northern Quest casino in the Spokane suburb of Airway Heights will be closed for two weeks.

The Spokane Tribe also closed its casino in Airway Heights.

Meanwhile, The Seattle Times is reporting that the Suquamish, Puyallup, Tulalip, Muckleshoot, Lummi, Cowlitz and Jamestown S’Klallam tribes are temporarily shutting down their casinos.

The Yakama Nation is also closing its casino in Toppenish.

As sovereign nations, the tribes are not bound by the orders of Gov. Jay Inslee, who has shut down schools, bars and restaurants in the state and limited the size of public gatherings.

Closing the tribal casinos is significant because they fund many tribal government operations, and have thousands of employees.