Navajo Gaming has extended the closure of all of its casinos until at least August 16th and will begin the second phase of temporary layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Navajo Gaming started the first phase of the temporary layoffs of over 900 employees on Tuesday, with the second phase of the layoffs of an additional 140 people set to begin on Monday. Navajo Nation Gaming has been closed for 19 weeks since it closed its doors on March 17th. Going into the closure, Navajo Nation Gaming was in a strong financial position with cash reserves earmarked for development projects and accelerating debt service payments. The enterprise redeployed cash reserves, as well as a relief funding from the Payroll Protection Program, to continue to pay the nearly 12-hundred team members since the closures in March. Officials say funds are now running critically low and the enterprise is unable to continue paying all of the employees. Navajo Gaming’s Human Resources team has worked with each team member to notify them how and when the temporary layoff will impact them. Simultaneously, Navajo Gaming Leadership continues to seek alternate funding and is ready to reopen as soon as safely possible. As of Friday, the Navajo Nation has seen 454 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic.