FIFE, Wash. — The Emerald Queen Casino Fife will reopen its doors on Monday, May 18, according to a news release from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.
Doors open at 10 a.m.
The number of people allowed inside at one time will be limited to no more than 30% capacity. Customers will also have their temperatures checked before they enter through the doors and be expected to wear masks.
Casino staff will clean the casino "continuously," and limit the availability of food, and they will expect staff and guests to maintain social distancing.
"We took decisive action to protect our community, sometimes in advance of similar actions by the state, and we have repeatedly said that when we reopen our casino operations, which closed March 16, we will do so safely and responsibly," read the news release.
The new Emerald Queen Casino location in Tacoma is expected to open in June.
Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington became the first to reopen in Washington state on May 13.
"We believe it's time. We believe we have enough safety protocols in place like other places that have not shut down,” said Travis O’Neil, general manager of Angel of the Winds Casino.
Management displayed new safety measures last week, which include no smoking. Guests’ temperatures are taken at the door, face coverings are required and only slot machines will be open.
When the casino reopened Wednesday, the line of cars stretched for miles.
Gov. Jay Inslee, who has no control over what sovereign tribal governments do, said he wishes the tribes would delay opening casinos.
"I have expressed to the tribes I would very much be more pleased if their openings were consistent with some of the business openings in our state," Inslee said Thursday.
He said he was glad to hear the tribes were taking extra preventative measures for guests. "I hope they're successful," said Inslee.
A spokesperson for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said it would not offer opinions about tribal decisions.
Lori Karnes, an Environmental Health Specialist with the department, said anyone considering going to public places right now needs to be cautious.
"Those people over 65, immunocompromised, maybe have diabetes or some breathing difficulties, maybe now isn't the time to venture out," said Karnes.
The Emerald Queen Casino is owned by the Puyallup Tribe. Angel of the Winds is owned by the Stillaguamish Tribe. The tribes are sovereign nations and are not bound by Washington's statewide stay-home order.