Oaklawn Casino in Hot Springs will close for two weeks but thoroughbred racing will continue, without spectators.

The coronavirus became more of an issue in Garland County over the weekend with confirmation of two cases in that county.


The other Arkansas casinos appear to be operating as normal. The Saracen Resort is in Pine Bluff, where a cluster of coronavirus cases have been linked to an infected patient at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. The Oaklawn release:

With the unfortunate announcement Sunday afternoon that two people have tested positive for Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in Garland County, Oaklawn has made the decision to voluntarily close the casino for two weeks effective Monday, March 16 at 8 am through March 30. This includes Silks Bar and Grill, Bistro 2705 and the Sports Book. The racing operations will continue without spectators during this same time period.


“As good community citizen, we felt this was the right thing to do for public health,” Oaklawn President Louis Cella said. “As for the nearly 1,000 team members we have on staff during this live racing season, including all year round and seasonal team members, we will continue to pay their salary and benefits during this two-week period.


“As for racing, it has always been the life blood of Oaklawn and we are happy to offer the horsemen an avenue for racing their horses in these challenging times. While no fans are permitted to experience racing during this time, fans will be limited to watch and wager on Oaklawn Anywhere.  We continue to monitor everything on a day to day basis. We appreciate the patience of our guests, team members and horsemen.”

Oaklawn has on-line betting, which continues.