In an action of solidarity with the New Mexico Department of Health and the CDC’s recommendation for social distancing during the outbreak of COVID-19, the Pueblo of Pojoaque has made the decision to cease all gambling operations at all three of their casinos for the next 14 days starting March 16.
Pueblo of Pojoaque Governor Joseph Talachy said his team started making plans last week ahead of the COVID-19 cases in New Mexico were announced. Talachy said on the governmental side they sent workers home March 11 and are down to a skeletal crew. He says only essential people are only working at this time like their first responders, human resources and accounting department to name a few. On Saturday, Talachy said he decided to close the three casinos in Pojoaque which include Buffalo Thunder, Cities of Gold and Jake’s Casino.
The Pueblo of Pojoaque is a massive employer in northern New Mexico. Talachy says between the government and business side of things the closure will be affecting 700 to 800 employees at the minimum. However, employees affected by the 14-day shutdown will be getting paid. “Our obligation is to our employees and to our people. We have a saying in the Pueblo of Pojoaque that is no person gets left behind and we definitely don’t shoot our wounded,” said Joseph Talachy.
Talachy says the pueblo is utilizing Buffalo Thunder’s commercial kitchen to help cook food for their Meals on Wheels program.