Sources have indicated that Detroit casinos will be reopening soon, but there will be some strict restrictions in place when they finally are able to open. It was previously reported that casinos would be allowed to reopen in the Motor City in June, but there are some things that must happen first.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (Democrat) will first have to grant approval to each casino before they are allowed to reopen their doors. The state will impose numerous health and safety regulations to protect both customers and employees.
The three commercial casinos in the state have been shut since March 16, and it has hurt the economy throughout the state. The MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity, and Greektown Casinos are all ready to open their doors but are awaiting official word from the governor.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board will also be creating several procedures that each casino will have to take before they can reopen their doors. When casinos are allowed to reopen, they will only be allowed just 15 percent of their normal occupancy.
Other states have allowed casinos to reopen with 50 percent of their normal occupancy, but Governor Whitmer is worried about a resurgence in the virus.
There are 11 tribal casinos in the state of Michigan that have already opened their doors to guests, but they have also implemented health and safety protocols. Tribal casinos do not have to follow state guidelines and regulations since they are on federally reserved land.
When casinos do reopen, they will also limit the number of entry points, and each entrance will be equipped with a way to check a guest’s temperature. All poker rooms will remain closed even when the casinos reopen, and smoking will be banned on the casino floor.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board is anxious to get the casinos reopened in the state, but they are worried about what might happen.
Casinos in Las Vegas were allowed to reopen with 50 percent capacity, and social distancing was not kept at these establishments. Michigan is hoping to learn from Las Vegas and create a safer environment for guests and employees.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that he doesn’t think that Detroit’s three casinos will be fully reopened until at least 2021. Duggan also noted that the city loses out on approximately $600,000 in tax revenue for each day that they remain closed.
Gross gaming revenue was up close to seven percent for the first few months of 2020, but the coronavirus will put a major hurt on these numbers. The three companies combined to win almost $1.5 billion in 2019, but those numbers will be much lower in 2020.
Sports Betting Looking To Bounce Back
Sports betting launched in Michigan in mid-March, with the launch coming just days before most live sports were shut down. The state was expected to become a major player in the sports betting industry, but the shut down of live sports put a huge damper on the industry.
Once the casinos are given the green light to reopen, it should also bring about a resurgence in the sports betting industry. There are just a handful of retail sports betting locations in the state, but there are some mobile options as well.
The state recently announced that DraftKings Sportsbook is set to launch in the state, and that will provide another great online sports betting option to bettors. The state has been able to attract some of the top names in the industry, and the industry should take off when sports return.