Tulsa, Oklahoma’s River Spirit Casino and Resort was forced to shut its doors part of the weekend following a bomb threat. No explosive device was found during an extensive search and the tribal venue was re-opened a short time later.
The closure took place early Saturday after an unidentified person called to say there was a bomb in one of the casino’s bathrooms, KJRH TV News said. Both the gaming venue and hotel were evacuated during the search with guests and players forced to leave, KJRH adds.
Owned and operated by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, River Spirit has 3,000 slot machines and a few dozen table games. A 27-story hotel has 483 rooms.
A spokeswoman for the nation Monday confirmed the bomb scare. She told Casino.org that the casino was closed between 3 and 5 a.m.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Tribal Police worked with the River Spirit Casino Resort manager on duty and General Manager Jerry Floyd to evacuate and ensure the safety of the casino patrons,” Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police Chief Robert Hawkins said in a statement to Casino.org.
“We are taking the threat seriously. We are working with Jenks Police Department as this is an ongoing investigation.”
This weekend was not the first time that River Spirit Casino was forced to close in recent months. Flooding of the Arkansas River led to the shuttering of the resort in May and June.
Flooding Led to River Spirit Closing Earlier This Year
Underground vaults containing utilities were flooded as were parking lots, KTUL said. The air inside the property’s building also needed to be treated and crews cleaned up the area near a pool. The entry to part of the garage was also flooded.
But the casino, the hotel, two restaurants, and gaming floors were not impacted by flooding.
River Spirit remains popular with guests and players. The property was listed earlier this month as the most-requested destination in Oklahoma for passengers using Uber for ride services. It also was in first place during 2017.
“We are gratified to receive this honor despite being closed for 30 days during May and June because of historic flooding of the Arkansas River,” Pat Crofts, CEO of Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos, was quoted as saying by the Tulsa World. “We are looking forward to another record-setting year in 2020.”
Illinois Man Convicted in Bomb Scare
Illinois also saw a reported bomb scare at a casino earlier this year. Mustadin Muadinov, 30, of Chicago, was accused of the bomb scare at the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Illinois during February.
But he never once mentioned the word “bomb” and his words and actions were taken out of context, his lawyer reportedly argued last month in Illinois court.
Muadinov was detained by police on Feb. 12 at the floating casino on the Fox River. He was charged with felony disorderly conduct.
Last month, he was found guilty by a judge overseeing his case. Muadinov faces a sentence of between two and five years in prison, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Because of the outburst, the casino and adjoining businesses were evacuated for several hours that day, while the Kane County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad searched the area. No bomb was found.
Some 175 people were forced to exit the casino due to the threat, the Sun-Times added.