The Seneca Nation Council, in consultation with the Seneca Gaming Corporation, suspended operations at all of the Nation’s gaming facilities, effective at 8 p.m. Monday.

The closing was part of the ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic locally.

The directive applies to the Nation’s three casino resort properties in Niagara Falls, Salamanca, and Buffalo, as well as the Seneca Gaming & Entertainment operations in Irving, Salamanca, and Cuba, according to a press release.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented public safety situation that requires an unprecedented response,” said Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr. “Given the number of people who visit and work at our facilities, I believe it is in the best interest to suspend our gaming operations until further notice. We are keeping the health and safety of our workers, our guests and our communities above all else.”

In addition to the temporary suspension of its gaming operations, Armstrong announced various temporary closures of on-territory facilities and changes to identified services, effective immediately. Essential services, such as the elders’ meal program, health services and emergency services will continue, but may be adjusted to reduce unnecessary contact.

“Our sole focus, as a Nation, is to do everything practicable to ensure the health and safety of every Seneca Nation member to the best of our ability,” Armstrong said. “We will do whatever possible and responsible to ensure that our people, particularly our elders, continue to receive the services they need. That is our commitment. The measures going into effect today, while significant, are, in our determination, necessary and appropriate to safeguard the health and welfare of our people and our territories with as little disruption to our people, including our Nation employees, and the quality of life on our territories as we can control,” the president said.

“As a unified Seneca community, it is incumbent upon each of us to adjust to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and to do everything we can to keep ourselves, our families and our territories safe while the full public response to this situation plays out,” President Armstrong added.

“As we continue to work together, I am confident that the Seneca Nation, our people, and our territories will withstand this unprecedented public health event as strongly and effectively as possible,” he said.