140 employees on furlough after Club One Casino in Fresno forced to shut down again

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Across the state, most casinos have temporarily been shut down after the governor ordered the closure of multiple indoor venues.

Club One Casino has been a fixture in downtown Fresno for the last 25 years.

They had never closed a day in their history until the pandemic hit in March.

"It's a lot darker and quieter than it has ever been in my 10 years here," said Kyle Kirkland, its owner, who also serves as president of the California Gaming Association.

Last month they got the green light to reopen and nearly two weeks ago they started serving guests once more, but that was short-lived.

On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of various indoor venues in Fresno County and 18 other counties where coronavirus cases are on the rise.

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Cardrooms were included on the list and forcing Club One to once again close up for the next three weeks.

"I'm concerned that it may be longer than that, given our experience with the last two-week closure that ended up being 87 days," he said.

Kirkland said he's been forced to severely cut down staff again.

About 140 of the 150 employees he hired for their reopening have now been furloughed.

That number is even substantially less than the 225 employees they normally have on staff.

"We have been shut with no guests and a very skeletal crew keeping the surveillance cameras running," he said.

Tribal casinos are exempt from Newsom's order since they're out of the state's jurisdiction.

Kirkland says he'd like to see them follow the same guidelines.

"I can tell you this, of the 19 counties, every card room in those counties is closed and I don't know of a single tribal casino that is closed in those counties," he said.

Even though the state's order is only expected to last three weeks, Kirkland says they're bracing themselves in case it's extended.
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