The Duel

Detroit Casinos To Reopen Partially On August 5

Olufifun Adeleke

After a long wait, Detroit casinos can finally reopen. As a result of the rising number of coronavirus cases in Michigan, Governor Whitmer Gretchen restricted the capacity of the three commercial casinos in Detroit to 15 percent. MGM, Greektown, and Motor City casinos are ready to reopen under the governor's executive orders.

The three casinos had been prepared to reopen with Las Vegas casinos on the 4th of June, and when that was put on hold due to the happenings in the state of Michigan, they also prepared to reopen on the 4th of July with the casinos in Atlantic City. That was also put on hold as a result of the increase in coronavirus cases in the state and orders from the Governor.

Now the casinos are ready and equipped to reopen on the 5th of August. MGM casino has carried out the company's nationwide plan - the Seven-Point safety plan - in preparation for reopening and the plan meets all of Governor Whitmer's demands. Another safety measure implemented by MGM is the prohibition of smoking in the casino until coronavirus stops being an emergency in Michigan.

The other casinos have also ensured that safety protocols are in place for their reopening. Casinos must carry out daily entry screenings for both employees and patrons and also carry out temperature checks. Employees and customers of the casinos are expected to use face coverings such as face masks and face shields. Slot machines are being redesigned to encourage physical distancing, Plexiglas partitions have been added to the table games, and everyone is expected to use hand sanitizers. Also, disinfecting wipes or both and areas that are regularly touched are to be cleaned often.

Motor City Casino is happy to welcome its customers and also take back some of its employees (most of them have been out of jobs since the pandemic hit). Since the casinos are expected to operate at 15 percent capacity, there will be less revenue gained compared to periods before the pandemic. This will affect Michigan's economy, but the casinos are expected to still get profits. Alex Calderone, an analyst with Calderone Advisory Group said “Given that operating expenses have been slashed so drastically, it is possible they will be able to operate profitably, even at lower revenue levels driven by the 15 percent capacity restriction.”

Detroit casinos are among the last set of casinos to open in Michigan and America, as about 843 commercial and tribal casinos and 143 casinos are still locked down. In Michigan, the tribal casinos reopened in May. This is because the tribal casinos are not under the state's jurisdiction, they function on sovereign territories and are owned and managed by Native Americans. The reopening of the tribal casinos also encouraged Governor Whitmer's decision to reopen the commercial casinos in Detroit.

The casinos have expressed their joy and readiness to begin operations again after such a long period of being temporarily out of business. Surely the casino players in Michigan are happy as well!

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