Washington State’s Swinomish Casino Remains Closed After ‘Cybersecurity Incident’

An unexplained “cybersecurity incident” forced Washington State’s Swinomish Casino to shutter its doors. The gaming property has no idea when it might reopen.

Washington State’s Swinomish Casino, pictured above. A cyber incident forced the gaming property to close. (Image: Booking.com)

The closure began last Friday and first was blamed on “technical” issues. But in recent days, statements from the Anacortes, Wash. casino  clarified that an undetailed cyber issue was the cause of the shuttering.

Internet service at the gaming property is believed to have been impacted, according to Washington State TV station KIRO.

Initially, the casino said it would reopen within a couple of days. But earlier this week, it became clear the repairs will take much longer.

“Our team is actively working to resolve the issues,” the casino said in a statement this week.

We do not yet have an estimate on when our facilities will reopen. We are working as quickly as possible to restore operations and will provide updates on this website and on our Facebook page as our systems come back online.”

The casino has called in both law enforcement officials and cybersecurity specialists in an effort to resolve the issues.

The Swinomish Tribe-operated casino has yet to reveal if confidential information belonging to the gaming property or its guests was compromised during the cyber incident.

If we learn data was impacted by this incident, we will contact affected individuals as soon as possible,” the casino said in a statement.

The closing annoyed visitors to the casino. Initially, guests who had reservations at the lodge had not been contacted about the closing before they arrived, according to online statements.

“We’re from Seattle and we drove over here for his (boyfriend) birthday,” one visitor, Haley Cavanaugh, told KIRO.

The drive to the gaming property was close to two hours, she said. The casino is located about 74 miles north of Seattle.

I’m surprised they’re closed and haven’t said anything,” her boyfriend added.

The closure is limited to the casino and restaurants. The gaming floor has over 700 slot machines. Table games include blackjack, craps, roulette, Pai Gow, and keno.

The lodge and RV park remain open for those with current reservations.

Lodge guests who were “impacted” by the closure will get a refund “as appropriate,” according to a casino statement.

Comments from Public

Numerous comments were placed on the casino’s Facebook page in response to the closing.

Of course it was a cyber security attack,” one poster, identified as Trevor Kidd, said.

“After the MGM got pinched, I am surprised all casino operations didn’t go defkon4 bolstering anti-hacking protocols. The fact smaller casinos are now the target probably indicates the big gaming companies like Boyd, LVS, etc. got wise and tightened up cyber security, and smaller casinos are now the target. Swinomish isn’t some deep pocketed corp, its owned by a native american tribe, which makes this all the more evil.”

Prior Cyber Incidents

Swinomish Casino is not the only Washington State gaming property to face a closure due to a cybersecurity issue. In March, Nisqually Red Wind Casino in Olympia, Wash. closed for two days.

In September, a major cyber-attack took place against MGM Resorts International.

Scattered Spider, an infamous hacking group, was suspected for cyber-attacks against MGM and Caesars Entertainment. No word if the same hackers are suspected of being involved in the Swinomish Casino incident.

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