• Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

Navajo Nation Casinos Furlough 1,100 Employees, Warns of Everlasting Closures


Jan 2, 2021

Posted on: January 1, 2021, 01:40h. 
Final up to date on: January 1, 2021, 01:59h.

Devin O’Connor Learn Extra

The Navajo Nation introduced simply hours earlier than the ringing in of the brand new 12 months that greater than 1,100 employees at its 4 tribal casinos had been being positioned on furlough.

The Navajo Nation has advised greater than 1,100 of its staff that, in the intervening time, they not have to report back to work. (Picture: NBC Information)

Navajo Gaming, the on line casino enterprise of the Navajo Nation, introduced the layoffs final evening. The corporate owns and operates 4 casinos — Fireplace Rock, Flowing Water, and Northern Edge in New Mexico, and Twin Arrows in Arizona.

As a result of prolonged closure, since March 17, 2020, our enterprise operations have been severely impacted, and consequently, we should make very troublesome monetary and personnel selections,” defined Navajo Gaming Interim CEO Brian Parrish.

Being sovereign enterprises, the Navajo Nation doesn’t want to stick to state-ordered shutdowns of economic companies. Nonetheless, the tribe has voluntarily closed its 4 casinos to assist cease the unfold of COVID-19.
Worst-Case Situation
The Navajo Nation says it can retain roughly 165 staff to take care of the on line casino properties. But when the coronavirus isn’t better contained within the coming weeks and months, the tribe warns that it may end in everlasting closures.

The tribe has invested greater than $460 million in constructing the 4 gaming venues. Closures would consequence within the lack of round half of a billion {dollars} in annual income and financial output within the 4 cities the place they function.

“Our mission is to reinforce the standard of lifetime of the Navajo individuals by rising a profitable gaming economic system. The Nation’s imaginative and prescient took years to construct, however the Nation has been profitable,” defined Quincy Natay, chair of the Navajo Gaming Board.
“If it permits its gaming trade to fail, a everlasting closure will trigger a long-term setback for Navajo financial growth, even when it will definitely reopens,” Natay added. “The Nation has confronted and overcome world wars, the Lengthy Stroll, the burning of crops and killing of herds, the theft of our land and compelled relocation, the 1918 flu, Tuberculosis, and the theft of kids by boarding faculties. COVID-19 has had devastating prices and with out Navajo management, it, little question, would have been worse. Nonetheless, we’re a resilient and adaptable Nation. We rise to the event, sacrifice, and discover a stability.”
Present Restrictions
In New Mexico, the place the Navajo Nation is most invested, residents stay suggested to remain house apart from “essentially the most important actions and providers.”
Quite a few companies this week collectively filed a lawsuit in opposition to New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on grounds that she’s overreacted to COVID-19, and that the coronavirus isn’t any worse than the seasonal flu.
Matt Bieber, spokesperson for the New Mexico Well being Division, says the lawsuit overlooks the info.

The medical occupation is obvious: that is the worst international pandemic in a century,” Bieber acknowledged. “The lawsuit seems to be out of step with these realities.”

For the reason that pandemic started in early 2020, New Mexico has reported greater than 143,000 COVID-19 circumstances, and a pair of,479 deaths.

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