COVID-19 Safety

Santa Ana Pueblo to Reopen Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel Saturday, October 3rd

The Pueblo of Santa Ana, N.M. – Oct. 1, 2020 – The Pueblo of Santa Ana, and The Tamaya Enterprises Board of Directors (TEI), are pleased to announce the reopening of the casino hotel to the general public on Saturday, October 3, beginning at 9 a.m.

“Since our closure on March 15, 2020 we have stood back and carefully studied this issue from all sides. The adverse impact of our closure extends beyond the Pueblo and has also affected other stakeholders such as employees, vendors, and guests. Our closure has allowed us the time to learn and implement very detailed safety plans. We welcome you back to Santa Ana,” said TEI Chairwoman, Melanie Martinez.    

CEO John Cirrincione explains, “We are proud of the plan we’ve put together and the extensive training we’ve done with our team for the last several months. Our safety practices in place now were written to a standard to withstand worsening conditions.  We see the COVID crisis as something that will be with us for at least two years, so why not do it right.  At this time, we are going to carefully progress with thoughtful consideration given to each step forward. We are ready, very well-prepared and excited to welcome our team members and guests back to the Star.”

Masks provided at entry if needed. Guest and employee temperature scanning will also occur upon entry. All guests who enter the property must be at least 21 years old or older and have a valid New Mexico I.D. Guests must be registered as a Players Club member, and can register at entry.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions


All SASCH staff has completed a comprehensive COVID-19 prevention training program. The training included:

  • Understanding how the Coronavirus spreads
  • Coronavirus prevention techniques
  • The proper use and handling of PPE
  • When, where, and how to wear PPE
  • Detecting symptoms of COVID-19
  • Reporting COVID-19 symptoms
  • Understanding operational changes, hours of operation and process changes
  • Working with the CARE Team – roles and responsibilities
  • Empathy and de-escalation techniques (guests and team members) and conflict and resolution (handling hostile, ill-informed, or non-compliant guests)
  • Call-in policy procedures and attendance policy review
  • Guest conflict and resolution (handling hostile, ill-informed, or non-compliant patrons)
  • How to use the SASCH employee app for “real time” communications with all staff
  • Zero tolerance policy for failure to observe COVID safety practices

The Establishment of CARE Team

Comprised of 38 team members, the CARE team was established to observe, report and act on any safety issues, processes or people failing to meet the restrictions in place. Their duties include:

  • Organizing and coordinating with security to effectively operate team member and guest entry checkpoints
  • Monitor departmental performance related to compliance with the Plan
  • Conduct inspections in front and back of house to determine compliance with the Plan
  • Inform guests and team members of applicable Plan requirements
  • Immediately resolve violations by both team members and guests
  • Report (via Witness Statement) any team member’s violations that are serious in nature or purposely negligent
  • Report to security any guests that refuse to comply with casino rules or restrictions
  • Oversee compliance with PPE policies and procedures
  • Facilitate the distribution of PPE to team members

Team Member and Guests Hand Washing Stations

Four additional hand wash stations have been constructed with easy access to public areas. The concept is to make hand washing convenient, easy and accessible for all to increase hand washing and decease possible spread of the virus.

Mask Policy

Only approved masks shall be worn by everyone while indoors. No gators or bandanas allowed. SASCH will provide a CDC approved mask if a guest or team member doesn’t have a mask. Team members are also required to wear protective safety glasses.

“Clean My Machine” Software

Guests shall have the option to touch the “Clean My Machine” button which will electronically summons an employee to disinfect your machine.

Entry Screening

All guests and team members shall be required to show an ID, register in the Players Club, take a temperature check, answer a COVID-19 survey and wear a mask.

Reduced Operating Hours

Sunday – Thursday                                        Friday – Saturday (18 hours)

Open 9:00AM                                                  Open 9:00AM

Close 1:00AM                                                  Close 3:00AM

Building Occupancy Limits

Limited to approximately 30% of total capacity.

Thermal Cameras/Scanners

Points of entry will be limited to allow our security team to conduct non-invasive temperature checks utilizing thermal cameras. Anyone displaying a temperature of 100.0°F or higher will be taken to a private area for a temperature screening by a temporal thermometer. Team members and guests confirmed by a temporal thermometer to have a temperature of 100.0°F or higher will not be allowed entry to the property and will be advised to seek appropriate medical care.

Physical Distancing

Guests will be advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from other groups of people not traveling with them while standing in lines, using elevators, or moving around the property. Restaurant tables, slot machines and other physical layouts will be arranged to ensure appropriate distancing. Wherever possible, stanchion poles, chains, directional signs, and floor decals shall be used to direct patron traffic patterns.

Hand Sanitizer

Liquid hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed at key guest and team member entrances and contact areas.

Front of the House Signage

There will be health and hygiene reminders throughout the property including the proper way to wear, handle and dispose of masks.

Traffic Flow and Directional Signage

In an attempt to eliminate random and disorderly traffic flow patterns and to reduce face-to-face contact, SASCH shall implement sectioned-off gaming areas. Wherever possible, stanchion poles, chains, directional signs, and floor decals shall be used to direct patron traffic patterns.

Guest Compliance

Guests failing to comply will be politely asked to follow our safety procedures. If the customer refused to comply, security will be notified and the uncooperative guest will be removed and banished from the facility.

Back of the House Signage

Signage will be posted throughout the property reminding team members to avoid touching their faces and explaining the proper way to wash their hands; sneeze; and wear, handle, and dispose of masks and in positions deemed appropriate by medical experts, gloves.

Beverage Service

Two beverage stations shall be converted to “beverage hand-off stations.” Team members will fill drinks and place them on a table for guests to take. Self-serve beverage stations will be temporarily closed.

Team Member Breaks and Rotations

Departments that rotate work areas shall limit such rotations. Team members required to wear facemasks due to public exposure shall be given a minimum of a 15-minute break each hour.

No Smoking or Vaping

There shall be no smoking or vaping in the casino hotel complex. Outdoor smoking / vaping must be outdoors and 20’ or more from an entry door.

Environmental Services Team (EVS)

We have increased the amount of EVS attendants responsible for disinfecting public areas from 43 to 105 team members. Each section of the casino will have at least one attendant available to disinfect all equipment a customer may touch. Each EVS attendant has been trained in proper use of chemicals and disinfecting procedures.


Q: Will points of entry be limited?

A: Occupancy levels will be limited to protect the safety of guests and team members. If occupancy limits are reached, guests might be asked to wait outside the building until the opportunity to enter. If entrances are restricted, proper signage will be posted.

Q: What amenities are still temporarily suspended on property?

A: At the first phase pool, valet, and select restaurants have been temporarily suspended. Self-serve stations will be suspended and replaced by alternative service options.

Q: When will the hotel begin taking reservations?

A: The Hotel is now taking reservations.

Q: Will smoking be allowed on property?

A: No. A covered outdoor area for smoking will be provided. No indoor smoking in the facility.


Q: What happens to my Star Rewards Club Card account once you reopen?

A: Star Rewards Club accounts will be maintained until December 31, 2020. Points and Rewards accumulated before the temporary closure can be redeemed as usual.

Q: How do I access my win-loss statement?

A: Guests can access their win-loss statement through their online player portal, website email or by visiting the Star Rewards Club.

Q: Can I cash out gaming vouchers/tickets?

A: Yes, slot machine cash out tickets and Sportsbook vouchers that expired during our closure will be honored until December 31, 2020.


Q: When will live entertainment resume?

A: To protect our guests and team members, all entertainment scheduled in 2020 is cancelled. We may resume entertainment in 2021.


Your health and safety is very important to us. If you have specific questions about these procedures and protocols, please direct inquiries to our team via our contact form.


Center for Disease Control

New Mexico Department of Health