Swinomish Casino & Lodge in Anacortes Closed Due to Cyberattack

Swinomish Casino & Lodge, nestled in Anacortes on the Washington coast, has been forced to shutter its doors until further notice following a suspected cyberattack. The casino, owned and operated by the tribal community, announced this news on its website on Wednesday, leaving patrons and employees in limbo. Casino management has not shared details regarding the incident, raising fears of a potential data breach.

The Venue Released Little Relevant Information

The sudden closure has left employees and patrons perplexed, with little communication from management regarding the situation. While the lodge remains open, the venue only honors existing reservations, leaving potential guests in the dark. The casino released an official statement regarding the ongoing issues, but the update contained little relevant information.

According to the official announcement, guests with existing reservations affected by the incident would receive refunds as they can only access the lodge and RV park. The casino admitted that the disruption was due to a cyberattack incident necessitating the closure of the casino and all restaurants on the property.

Swinomish Casino & Lodge added they were cooperating with authorities and cybersecurity experts to resolve this issue, adding they would contact affected customers in case of a data breach. The venue reassured patrons it would post an update on its Facebook page as soon as its systems returned online but did not disclose any concrete timeframe. 

Cyberattacks Represent an Industry-Wide Concern

This disruption is not the first time Swinomish Casino & Lodge has faced closure, with the last prolonged shutdown occurring in March 2020 due to COVID-19 safety measures. However, the ongoing closure has cast uncertainty over when operations will resume, leaving troubled employees and patrons awaiting updates. Many visitors wishing to visit for the weekend had to return, expressing their disappointment in the sudden shutdown.

Local news outlet KIRO 7 investigated the matter, contacting former employee Greg Sullivan, who revealed that the incident was highly unusual. He noted that closures on a  Friday or a Saturday night were something the casino tried to avoid at all costs, highlighting the severity of the issue. He expressed concern regarding the staff who depended on tips to make ends meet.

This impact is substantial on the workers, particularly the ones that are not salaried employees. The public absolutely deserves the truth.

Greg Sullivan, former employee

Despite limited information, this case resembles 2023’s cyberattacks against gambling giants like Caesars and MGM. These incidents caused significant customer data leaks, causing substantial damage to the affected operators. Although the increasing frequency of such cyberattacks should serve as a warning for the broader industry, this newest case indicates that many casinos may still be vulnerable.