Detroit’s three casinos will remain closed through at least Dec. 20 due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extending the partial shutdown of most public indoor activities in Michigan.
“We have not yet seen the full impact of activities around Thanksgiving in our cases and hospitalizations,” Whitmer said, according to an MLive.com report.
As to when the casinos and other indoor activities may reopen? Whitmer said not everything will happen all at the same time.
“We won’t lift all of our protocols at once. We will do it in a measured way so we don’t undo the progress that we’ve made,” she said.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon did say places where people can remain masked all the time — such as casinos — will be on the short list of venues that can reopen soonest.
This marks the second time Detroit’s casinos have been closed due to an order from Whitmer during the coronavirus pandemic. The first closure was on March 16. It continued through Aug. 5, when the casinos were allowed to open at 15% capacity.
The state’s tribal casinos, which operate under federal law, are not subject to Whitmer’s order. While many have remained open throughout this second wave, Bay Mills Resort and Casino has closed, with current plans to reopen on Dec. 18. The five Kewadin casinos also closed, with plans to reopen on Dec. 9.
The city’s three casinos were finally starting to come back around, despite continued occupancy restrictions. In October, gaming revenue was down “only” 19% year-over-year. November’s numbers are expected to be released this week, and they will obviously take a hit.
Later this month or in early 2021, the casinos are expected to launch online gambling, a move which clearly will serve as a lifeline for the properties.