Paragon temporarily closing due to COVID-19 concerns
Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana has made the decision to temporarily close Paragon Casino Resort beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17.
With state of emergencies being declared by President Donald Trump as well as the Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, the Tribal Council agreed that closing Paragon facilities are in the best interest of all tribal members, casino employees and patrons. Though this announcement follows Gov. John Bel Edward’s order to close casinos across the state, that mandate does not include Native American casinos. As a sovereign nation, the Tunica Biloxi leaders have acted in the best interest of their tribal members and their community at large.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided that closing Paragon temporarily is the best course of action at this time,” said Marshall Ray Sampson, Vice-Chairman of The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “We value our guests and staff’s health and well-being above all and will open again when it is safe to do so.”
While Paragon serves as an essential economic driver for Marksville and the surrounding area, safety and health are of paramount concern for the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe.
“Throughout this difficult time, we will do everything that we can to assist our Paragon family and others that might be impacted in our area,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “While temporarily closing was not an easy decision to make, we ultimately believe that it is necessary to preserve and protect the health of our community.”
In addition to the Tribal Council, this decision was also supported by and in line with the Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Commission’s protocols which are enacted when safety for gaming patrons is a concern.
“I agree fully with the Tribal Council’s decision to halt operations of Paragon and know that it is in the best interest of our guests,” said Rudy Wambsgans III, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Commission.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council is continuing to stay in contact with local, state and federal leaders surrounding COVID-19. The Tribe is continuing to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly.
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About the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana:
The Tunica-Biloxi people first appeared in the Mississippi Valley. In the late 1700s, they settled near Marksville, where they were skilled traders and entrepreneurs. Today, the Tribe has more than 1,200 members throughout the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois. The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe received federal recognition in 1981 for its reservation within the boundaries of Louisiana. The tribe owns and operates the Paragon Casino Resort, the largest employer in Central Louisiana. Through its compact, negotiated by the late Tribal Chairman Earl J. Barbry Sr. and the State of Louisiana, the Tribe has assisted local governments in the area with its quarterly distribution of funds, totaling more than $40 million over two decades. For more information about the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit www.tunica.org and “like” us on Facebook.