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Seminole Tribe of Florida closes all casinos, hotels in the state during COVID-19 pandemic

The Seminole Tribe of Florida announced Friday that it will close all of its Florida casinos — including Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood — over COVID-19 concerns.

“With a primary focus on the health and safety of guests, team members and the public, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Gaming have voluntarily decided to temporarily close all Seminole and Hard Rock Casinos throughout Florida today,” the tribe said in a statement.

All hotels — including the iconic Guitar Hotel — will shut down as well. And don’t expect to see any lights shining at the hotel. Those will go dark too. The Guitar Hotel had already suspended shows.

The Seminole properties join a long list of casinos in South Florida that have already closed. Calder Casino, The Casino at Gulfstream Park and The Big Easy Casino in Hallandale Beach closed earlier this week. Casino Miami and Magic City Casino closed Thursday.

Miccosukee Resort & Gaming was still open as of Friday.

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In addition to the hotel near Hollywood, the affected Seminole properties are: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa; Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee; Seminole Casino Brighton; Seminole Casino Coconut Creek and Seminole Classic Casino (Hollywood).

All casinos will close at 6 p.m. Friday. The hotels have stopped admitting new guests and are working with current guests so the hotels can close too, said tribe spokesman Gary Bitner.

“This decision was not taken lightly as Seminole Gaming employs nearly 14,000 Seminole Gaming team members in the state,” the tribe said in the news release. All team members will be paid for the next two weeks, Bitner said.

“The goal has been to protect their livelihood without jeopardizing public safety. We have now reached a point where we do not feel comfortable taking that risk,” tribe said.

This story was originally published March 20, 2020 2:12 PM.

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