Casino In Hot Springs Closes For 2 Weeks, Horse Racing Continues

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Oaklawn, a popular destination in Hot Springs, Arkansas, is closing their Casino for two weeks in respone to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The horse racing track will remain in operation, but will run races without on-site specatators Of course, some wagering will be possible on these races via online betting. No word on exactly how many people it takes to run the races and how they will keep a safe distance from one another.

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The following is a statement from

MARCH 15, 2020


HOT SPRINGS, AR (Sunday, March 15, 2020) – 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 a 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 can still to watch and wager on Oaklawn Anywhere if they Arkansas residents or any other ADW platform. We will continue to monitor everything on a day to day basis. We appreciate the patience of our guests, team members and horsemen.”

For additional details and future updates, please visit

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Author: Chad Young

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