Link Between California Casino and Tuberculosis Outbreaks Prompts Urgent Testing Recommendations for Customers

A California casino, apparently connected to a surge in tuberculosis cases, is urging its customers to undergo testing. Around 600 individuals who visited the establishment may have been exposed to the contagious disease, sparking concerns among health officials.

The casino, located in California, has become a hotspot for a potential tuberculosis outbreak. Reports suggest that approximately 600 customers who frequented the casino over a specific period could have been exposed to the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is an airborne infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily affects the lungs but can also harm other parts of the body, such as the kidneys, spine, or brain. The disease spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

Health authorities have advised all individuals who visited the casino during the specified timeframe to seek immediate medical evaluation and get tested for tuberculosis. Early detection is crucial to prevent the further spread of the disease and enable prompt treatment.

Tuberculosis can manifest in various ways, including persistent coughing, chest pain, fatigue, weight loss, and fever. However, symptoms may not surface immediately, which further underscores the importance of taking precautionary measures if one suspects exposure.

The casino management has cooperated with health officials to investigate the source of the outbreak. All necessary measures are being taken to ensure deep cleaning and disinfection of the premises, targeting areas where the bacterium may persist.

Tuberculosis remains a significant public health concern worldwide, especially in densely populated areas or environments where proper ventilation is lacking. Health authorities are vigilant about containing outbreaks promptly to protect the general population from further transmission.

The call to action for the casino’s customers underscores the importance of individual responsibility and public health vigilance. By promptly undergoing testing and seeking medical attention, individuals can prevent the potential spread of tuberculosis within their communities.

It is essential for everyone, not just the potentially affected individuals, to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors associated with tuberculosis. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, such as practicing good respiratory hygiene and regular handwashing, we can collectively safeguard ourselves and our communities from infectious diseases.

Baton Rouge Casinos Banking on Surging Revenues with Strategic Bets

The Baton Rouge casino industry is experiencing improved success compared to the previous year, as per a report by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. The report reveals that revenue from Capital City casinos increased by over 5% from August to September 2023.

Following their grand opening on August 24, 2023, The Queen of Baton Rouge, previously known as the Hollywood Casino, had a strong start to its operations. September saw a 90% gain for The Queen, with revenue amounting to $7 million. In August, they generated approximately $4 million in revenue.

General Manager Matthew Shehadi expressed his excitement about the impressive month of September, stating that it was indeed a fantastic period with five weekends and Labor Day. Although October did not match up to September, it still garnered significant support from the community.

Shehadi emphasized that the casino’s ongoing goal is to provide a fun and exhilarating environment with top-notch gaming opportunities. He revealed their plans to bring in live entertainment every Friday throughout November and December.

Guest feedback regarding the safety and security measures at The Queen has been overwhelmingly positive. Shehadi highlighted the installation of brand new lighting, emergency lights, security rovers on bike patrol, and the presence of the Baton Rouge Police Department to ensure visitors feel safe and secure.

The Belle of Baton Rouge experienced a considerable decline in revenue, dropping by about 28% between September and August, with revenue amounting to approximately $891,000.

L’Auberge Baton Rouge is still finalizing its October numbers. The casino hopes that increased entertainment offerings will create a enjoyable experience for all, not just avid gamblers. Vice President of Marketing Mike Bender emphasized the casino’s aim to provide value to their guests in light of the financial constraints faced by many.

The addition of live entertainment has become a central focus for L’Auberge Baton Rouge, with performances scheduled for four days a week from Thursday through Sunday. The appearance of Better Than Ezra on the Lawn is expected to draw thousands of guests on November 10.

Collectively, the three riverboat casinos in Baton Rouge—The Queen, L’Auberge Baton Rouge, and Belle of Baton Rouge—generated nearly $21 million in revenue in September. This marks an increase from the nearly $20 million generated in August.

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10th Circuit Court: Insurance Policy Excludes Coverage for COVID-19

Last week, the federal appeals court in Denver ruled that a Black Hawk casino’s insurance policy did not cover the hundreds of millions of dollars in losses caused by COVID-19 in 2020. Monarch Casino & Resort sued its insurer, Affiliated FM Insurance Company, under a $350 million policy that covered its Monarch Casino in Black Hawk and another facility in Reno. The casino argued that the presence of COVID-19 constituted “physical loss or damage” under the policy and sought payment for the months it was subjected to public health restrictions.

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit disagreed with Monarch’s interpretation. They pointed to a previous opinion issued in January, which stated that COVID-19 did not cause physical damage and therefore could not support an insurance claim. Judge Allison H. Eid, who authored the panel’s opinion, also noted that Monarch’s policy contained a broad exclusion for contamination, including viruses.

The case received attention from various interest groups. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association, representing insurers, argued that forcing insurance companies to compensate policyholders for COVID-19 closures would bankrupt insurers and require them to cover more routine impacts on businesses in the future. United Policyholders, an advocate for insurance consumers, called this argument a scare tactic, pointing out that insurers made a profit in 2020.

Monarch’s policy provided general coverage for its casinos, subject to exclusions. While the policy excluded coverage for contamination, it did include “communicable disease” coverage for the costs of cleaning and removing diseases in response to public health regulations. However, this provision had a maximum coverage limit of $100,000. Monarch sought to recover a significantly larger sum from Affiliated FM Insurance.

In September 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Regina M. Rodriguez ruled that while Monarch may be eligible for the $100,000 communicable disease coverage, the contamination exclusion prevented them from claiming the additional millions of dollars. Monarch appealed the decision to the 10th Circuit, arguing that the insurance policy was confusing and ambiguous.

During the appeal, the panel struggled to understand the terms of coverage, with Affiliated FM Insurance’s lawyer having to correct them multiple times. Monarch’s attorney argued that the presence of COVID-19 should be considered as physical loss or damage. However, the 10th Circuit stood by its previous decision, supported by Colorado’s highest court, that COVID-19 does not cause physical damage.

The 10th Circuit acknowledged that Monarch was entitled to some coverage from the shutdowns under the communicable disease provision, but they could not extend the coverage beyond the policy’s limit of $100,000. The court emphasized that they could not rewrite the policy.

The case is titled Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Company.