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Here's when Desert Diamond Casino West Valley will reopen after COVID-19 closure

Joshua Bowling
Arizona Republic

The new Desert Diamond Casino West Valley will reopen, with some restrictions, on June 5 after closing in March due to COVID-19.

The casino, which had just opened in February and replaced the nearby smaller casino, will have "social distancing measures" and "protective equipment such as plexiglass barriers," the casino announced on Twitter

The casino has had "deep" cleanings during the closure, according to the Tohono O'odham Gaming Enterprise.

The Desert Diamond casinos near Tucson, Sahuarita and Why also will reopen on June 5.

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Expect masks and temperature checks

Customers and employees will be required to wear masks, which will be provided. Customers will have their temperature checked before entering and employees will have their temperature checked daily.

Staff will clean and disinfect "high-contact areas" throughout the day.

The reopening will be phased with limited capacity, amenities and hours at first. The casino has not announced specific restrictions yet.

"We’ll be announcing more in the coming days as we get closer," said Matt Smith, a public relations consultant for the Tohono O'odham Nation. 

Many Valley casinos reopened weeks ago

Several metro Phoenix casinos reopened in mid-May and a handful plan to reopen on June 1.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino in Maricopa, Fort McDowell Casino near Fountain Hills and the three Gila River casinos — Lone Butte near Chandler, Vee Quiva near Laveen and Wild Horse Pass near Chandler — all reopened on May 15.

The casinos took health precautions, including taking employees' temperatures, spacing slot machines apart and only allowing limited seating at table games.

The Gila River casinos have operated at 50% capacity and encourage patrons to wear masks. Masks are provided to customers who don't have one.

The Fort McDowell Casino, near Fountain Hills, has had a phased reopening. Blackjack was offered when the casino reopened on May 15, but it didn't offer bingo until May 22. The casino is waiting on federal guidelines for when it can reinstate poker, according to the casino's website.

Plexiglass shields were installed at the counters and floor markings encourage customers to stand six feet apart. Customers will have their temperatures checked before entering; employees and customers with a temperature of 100 degrees or more won't be allowed to enter. Employees have been given masks, gloves and COVID-19 training.  

Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona, operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Scottsdale, are slated to reopen June 1. 

Outside the Valley, closures could be longer

Twin Arrows Casino Resort near Flagstaff has extended its closure through at least June 15, according to its website. The casino is run by the Navajo Nation, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Elsewhere, casinos are planning to reopen in early June.

Yavapai and Bucky's casinos in Prescott plan to reopen at 8 a.m. on June 1. Machines and tables will be spaced out for physical distancing, according to the casinos. All employees will complete COVID-19 training before reopening and will be required to wear masks and gloves. Casino guests will be temperature-screened, required to wear a mask and asked to use hand sanitizer before entering. 

Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde will reopen at 10 a.m. on June 1. The casino will operate on limited capacity initially and will offer a limited number of slot machines. Masks will be required for all employees and customers in public areas. The casino will be closed from 2 to 6 a.m. daily for sanitation.

Reach reporter Joshua Bowling at jbowling@azcentral.com or 602-444-8138. Follow him on Twitter @MrJoshuaBowling.

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