Casinos in Detroit Prepared to Reopen Following Strict Health and Safety Protocols

Gaming News Gaming News

By Fiona Simmons

Detroit’s casinos prepare to reopen on July 4. The date marks Phase 5 of the state’s restart of economy, but it is yet to be confirmed by state officials if casinos will be allowed to reopen their doors.

After More Than Three Months of Suspended Operations, Detroit Casinos Prepare to Reopen

Casinos in Detroit, Michigan prepare to reopen in line with Phase 5 of the reopening plan of the state. Set to start as of July 4, gyms, casinos, movie theaters and other businesses plan to reopen. It’s important to mention that casinos and other entertainment businesses were ordered to shut down operations back on March 23. This happened after a statewide stay-at-home order issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Similar to other states, the shutdown was a part of the state official’s plan to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Now, three months later many businesses are looking to reopen doors and restart the state’s economy. Earlier this month, Governor Whitmer said that businesses such as movie theaters, casinos and gyms may reopen as of July 4. Although this is not yet confirmed by state officials, the businesses are preparing their venues for operating in the post-COVID-19 environment.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board Reopening Guidelines for Casino Operators

Back on June 1, the stay-at-home order by Governor Whitmer was lifted. This however kept businesses such as gyms, casinos, movie theaters and other entertainment venues closed. On June 8, the Michigan Gaming Control Board leased the guidelines which casinos must follow in order before they can resume operations. For starters, the regulator’s guidelines limit the capacity of each venue to only 15%. Visitors and employees must be wearing a mask at all times, with the exception of when eating or drinking. Masks are going to be provided by the casinos for both visitors and employees.

Further to the guidelines, poker rooms won’t be allowed. Smoking is also not allowed within on the casino floors. Guests that enter the casino floors will go through mandatory temperature checks using a touchless thermometer. Services such as valet, self-serving of foods and drinks as well as coat checks won’t be allowed. It’s important to mention that the listed guidelines are not permanent. With that being said, the COVID-19 spread in the US has seen daily spikes over the last week. In that line of thoughts, it remains unclear if July 4 will be the day to reopen the casinos in Michigan or this date will be pushed back.

MGM Grand Casino Has Already Prepared Safety Reopening Protocol

Reported by Detroit WXYZMGM Grand Casino has already released its safety protocol for reopening. The company created a health and safety reopening protocol which was already sent to the Michigan Gaming Control Board as well as Governor Whitmer’s office. According to the protocol, all visitors of MGM will be able to use hand sanitizer upon entry of the premises. When inside the venue, all guests and employees must wear masks. In the event that a visitor doesn’t have one, MGM will be providing a mask. Furthermore, MGM said it has already placed plexiglass spacers and implemented social distancing. Hand washing stations are also available within the casino floors. All guests and employees will have their temperature checked with touchless thermometers.

Commenting on the subject, David Tsai, MGM President and Chief Operating Officer said: “We’ve been closed since March. So we don’t have revenue coming in.” He continued by pointing out that the shutdown has also influenced the state’s tax revenue. Tsai further noted: “We are the highest industry, the largest tax contributor to the city of Detroit. Casinos in total comprise 17 percent of the city of Detroit federal funds.