Michigan Tribal Casino Preparing to Reopen Despite Order to Remain Closed

The state of Michigan is one of the hardest hit when it comes to the coronavirus. Since mid-March, casinos and other non-essential businesses have been closed to try and slow the spread of the virus. Non-tribal casinos in the state must remain closed through the 28th, but tribal casinos are not held to the same standard. In Harris, the Island Resort and Casino has plans to open portions of their venue, despite the state still being under a shutdown order.

May 6th Reopen Date

The casino will be ready to provide services starting on May 6th, offering slot machines and select food service to-go. The casino will also have a few bars open, bingo games and retail options. By May 8th, the golf courses will open and on the 13th, the hotel of the casino will be back in business.

Owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community, the venue has the ability to open without having to follow regulations set by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The executive order by Governor Gretchen Whitmer has set the Board to keep casinos as well as other places of public accommodation closed through May 28th.

Under the order, the Motor City Casino, MGM Grand and the Greektown Casino all must remain shutdown through this date. For the Island Resort and Casino will take precautions to welcome back players to their venue. People who have health conditions that are affected by the coronavirus or feel sick are recommended to stay home.

People 18 years or older will be allowed on-site with everyone have their temperature checked when they arrive. Anyone with a temperature above the 100 degree mark will not be allowed into the casino resort.

On-Site Protections

The casino is encouraging their employees as well as guests to wear face masks while on-site. The property has installed plexi-glass barriers in certain areas to separate guests and employees if possible. Areas that are considered high-touch points will be sanitized on a consistent basis. Dispensers of hand sanitizer will be put on the casino floor in many places for guests to use.

People within the facility will be advised to stay within six feet of each other. It is unclear as to if the casino will have employees moving throughout the facility to ensure that everyone is staying six feet apart.

In Michigan, the state has seen over 41,000 confirmed cases of the virus. Just over 3,700 people have died from the virus as of the time of writing. The numbers continue to climb. Even if the casino does open back up for business, players in Michigan might not be willing to visit and take part in gaming options.

Because the virus is spreading so quickly in the region, consumers might not be ready to make the jump to getting back out in the public, particularly within places where large groups of people can gather.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.