SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez recently approved $475 million in CARES Act funding, $24.6 million of which will go to the Navajo Gaming Enterprise who employs over 1,000 Navajo citizens.
Four tribal-owned casinos have been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closures have placed an extreme financial burden on operations forcing temporary layoffs of about 90% of the team members.
The recent funding from the CARES Act and President Nez will help facilitate recalling team members as soon as possible.
“We hope to bring our team members back in an expeditious manner and, despite the challenges of the pandemic, re-stabilize our most important asset, our team,” stated interim Navajo Gaming CEO Brian Parrish.
The funding will help the 1,100 casino employees with health insurance among other benefits.
Navajo Nation Gaming’s four properties will remain closed through the end of August.
Navajo Gaming Board of Directors Chairman Quincy Natay stated, “We are grateful for the support of the Navajo Nation leadership during these challenging times. As a tribally-owned enterprise whose mission is to enhance the quality of life of the Navajo people through a successful gaming economy, we are focused on restoring salary and benefits to over 1,100 team members.”