Detroit’s three casinos are allowed to open back up for business Monday, albeit at significantly reduced capacity and without food or drink service.
According to a Detroit News report, capacity on the casino floor will be limited to 100 guests. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this update via a virtual news conference on Friday.
“These past few weeks, Michiganders across the state stepped up and did their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, and because of our collective hard work, we are now able to begin the steps to carefully lift some of the protocols we have in place,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I am encouraged by the progress we have made since early November, and will continue to monitor the data closely during and after the holidays.”
The reopening of the casinos — and their sportsbooks — comes while the Michigan Gaming Control Board is putting the finishing touches on the launch of online sports betting and online casinos. The MGCB has said to expect a mid-January launch for both, which can’t come soon enough for the coronavirus-beleaguered city casinos.
Online to the rescue
In November, the three casinos — the MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown Casino-Hotel, and the Motor City Casino Hotel — saw their revenue numbers tumble by 61.3% year-over-year. The main culprit, of course, was the fact the casinos were shut down for a second time this year on Nov. 17.
In accordance with the State Health Department’s November 15 Order, MGM Grand Detroit will temporarily close as of 11:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 17. For updates, please visit: https://t.co/OZniL9PWlm pic.twitter.com/eWv9wlMyD8
— MGM Grand Detroit (@MGMGrandDetroit) November 16, 2020
The casinos were first closed back on March 16 and weren’t allowed to reopen until Aug. 5, and at that point they were only allowed to be at 15% capacity.
While the pandemic continues, the MGCB continues to put the finishing touches on the online launch.
“The MGCB continues to work closely with the operators and platform providers to ensure they have a clear understanding of the status of their submissions and what remains outstanding,” Mary Kay Bean, the spokesperson for the MGCB, told MIBets last week. “The agency also continues to issue additional vendor registrations and provisional licenses to other suppliers involved in online gaming and sports betting.”
The MGCB is going through the licensing requirements with all the sportsbooks and casinos and has issued and approved provisional licenses for 15 different platform providers supporting the commercial and tribal casinos’ sportsbooks and casinos.