Deadwood mayor pleads for casinos to close

(South Dakota Department of Tourism)

DEADWOOD, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Friday, the Deadwood Mountain Grand made the decision to suspend operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Monday, Deadwood’s mayor follows up, asking that all casinos close until the virus threat has passed.

In a letter to casino operators, Mayor David Ruth Jr. said:

“While I recognize these decisions are difficult and impact many employees and their families, in addition to the strain they place upon you as business owners, just this morning the United States Surgeon General warned ‘the coronavirus outbreak will worsen this week’ and said that ‘people across the country are not taking the threat seriously enough.’ The time to take things more seriously is now.”

The mayor also wants the casinos to stop allowing people to dine in restaurants, switching to curbside, takeout and delivery services. Businesses should also stop on-sale alcohol sales.

Deadwood is the latest gambling town to take action in combating the novel coronavirus. According to Ruth’s letter, 90 percent of casinos across the country, including those in Nevada and New Jersey, had already closed in attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19.