Californian Police raiding re-opened Towers Casino in Grass Valley
The Towers Casino was raided and shut down by the Department of Justice this week after it opened in a clear flouting of the state’s quarantine restrictions, video of the incident shared on Facebook…
With poker players champing at the bit to get back to the live tables, the Towers Casino in Grass Valley jumped the gun and started play early. Dan Ross of holdemradio revealing that 9-handed cash games across three of the pokerrooms six tables were open.
According to the Towers Casino website last week, they put measures in place to minimize the transmission of the coronavirus that has ravaged the US in general and the live poker scene almost completely.
‘Staff members will be wearing face masks or shields’ and ‘Patrons will be required to wear face masks,’ read the notice. And this is how it looked when they shuffled up and dealt.
First images in from Towers Casino in Grass Valley, CA, first California cardroom to open since quarantine announced .. only 3rd poker room in US pitching cards.
— Dan Ross (@HoldemMedia_Dan) May 19, 2020
Multiple US casinos are planning to re-open soon
That didn’t cut any ice with the Californian Department of Justice, however, several officers turning up to enforce the coronavirus lockdown rules.
Those had been in place since Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide order on March 19th. The shelter-in-place rules did not include casinos in the essential businesses or reasons for travel.
Casinos have been classified as Stage 3 business carrying higher risks and not yet to be opened for business.
Newsom also made a plea to the tribal casinos. He urged their federally-ruled governments to “reconsider and instead make those determinations based on how they align with the current local public health conditions and the statewide stage of reopening.”
That follows news that several tribal casinos plan to re-open in the next week or two. Even though there are more than 79,000 cases of coronavirus across 54 of California’s 58 counties, with more than 3,200 deaths.
The Cahuilla Band of Indians and Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians have both posted re-opening details for next week.
Department of Justice shuts down the Towers Casino cardroom
The video of Tower Casino’s short-lived opening shows the manager arguing with DOJ officials that her patrons should still be allowed to drink at the bar. Even though the gaming tables had just been shut down.
One patron quoted by Ross stated that he was playing $1/$3 No-Limit Texas Hold’em when the DOJ made their appearance to close down the Towers Casino cardroom.
“I was sitting (facing) directly to the entrance,” said local reg Roland Brizuela. Soon they came in. I said to myself WTF! We have time to make fun while they talk to the owner.”
This attitude was despite an editorial in the Sacramento Bee urging poker players and gamblers: “If you wouldn’t bet your life on a card game, don’t even think about visiting a casino during the coronavirus pandemic.
They added: “Please don’t roll the dice with death. Stay away from the casinos until it’s safe.”
The desire, or need, to play though has seen hundreds of poker players throw caution to the wind in far-off Florida. The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa was the first to officially re-open in the state…
Poker room at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa reopened 2 hours ago.
Current waiting list: 106 players
They have 18 tables in action right now pic.twitter.com/KsUx7tzgIl
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) May 22, 2020
The Tampa cardroom had, however, gone to greater lengths than Towers Casino to check the health status of their customers. Temperature scans at the entrance were part of their plan…
— Luis Santana (@LuisSantana) May 21, 2020
With every state having different rules and plans in place for US poker rooms, those in Las Vegas will be scrutinized very closely after Caesars Palace announced they would be re-opening at the end of this month…
— Caesars Palace (@CaesarsPalace) May 21, 2020
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