The Seminole Tribe of Florida is closing all of their casinos throughout the state Friday in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The temporary closure begins Friday at 6 p.m. and includes the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, the Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee, and the Seminole Casino Brighton.
Hotel guests will be contacted directly to accommodate their current bookings and needs, wherever possible.
"This decision was not taken lightly as Seminole Gaming employs nearly 14,000 Seminole Gaming team members in the state," the Tribe said in a statement. "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."
Before the closures were announced, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that he had spoken with the chairman of the Tribe, who told him they had implemented recommendations about bar and restaurant limitations and social distancing measures, but ultimately decisions had to be made by the Tribe.
"They're sovereign, they don't have to follow what the State of Florida decrees," DeSantis said Thursday. "They conveyed to me that the safety of their workforce is paramount to them."
A number of other casinos in South Florida and throughout the state have already voluntarily closed, including Calder Casino in Miami Gardens, The Casino at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, and Magic City Casino in Miami.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida surpassed 500 Friday, with 10 deaths reported in the state.