Detroit Casinos Await Green Light As Most Of Michigan’s Tribal Casinos Reopen

Posted on June 3, 2020

While three commercial casinos in Detroit await the go-ahead from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, nearly 23 Michigan tribal casinos are either open or plan to reopen soon.

Seventeen of them were opened on Friday and most of the others, except for the Ojibwa Casinos in the Upper Peninsula, have released reopening dates.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community will be the final Michigan tribe to announce reopening plans for its Marquette and Baraga casino locations.

Michigan’s casinos were closed by March 22 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was unfortunate timing as Detroit’s three casinos premiered sports betting in Michigan on March 11.

Which Lower Peninsula casinos are open?

Here is a look at the reopening statuses for tribal casinos in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula:

  • FireKeepers Casino, Battle Creek: Reopened on June 1.
  • Four Winds Casinos: Reopened on June 15 in Dowagiac, Hartford and New Buffalo. The South Bend, IN, location also reopened on June 15.
  • Gun Lake Casino, Wayland: The casino reopened on June 8. Table games are open, but the poker room is closed. The facility will be primarily smoke-free. You can check the website for slot occupancy from home here.
  • Leelanau Sands Casino, Peshawbestown: Reopened on May 29.
  • Little River Casino Resort, Manistee: Reopened on May 29. Initially, guests must be 18 years or older to help meet space limitations. Additionally, guests must wear a mask, undergo a touchless temperature check and maintain six feet of social distancing. Table games will be open with limited seating.
  • Odawa Casinos: The Odawa location in Mackinaw City opened on May 22. The Petoskey location, which has table games with limited seating, opened on May 29 and reportedly had a customer with the coronavirus in the casino that afternoon.
  • Saganing Eagles Landing Casino and Hotel, Standish: Reopened on June 1 to the general public.
  • Soaring Eagle Casino Resort, Mount Pleasant: Reopened on June 1 to the general public.
  • Turtle Creek Casino, Williamsburg: Reopened on May 29.

Which Upper Peninsula casinos are open?

Here is a look at the reopening statuses for tribal casinos in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula:

  • Bay Mills Casino and Kings Club, Brimley: Bay Mills reopened at 10 a.m. on Friday, though Kings Club remain closed.
  • Island Resort and Casino, Harris: Was the first Michigan casino to reopen on May 16 after originally announcing a May 6 reopening.
  • Kewadin Casinos: All five locations (Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace) opened on Friday.
  • Northern Waters Casino Resort, Watersmeet: Reopened on May 22.
  • Ojibwa Casinos: No reopening date is set for Baraga or Marquette locations.

When will Detroit casinos reopen?

Gov. Whitmer surprised the state on Monday with an announcement that bars and restaurants across Michigan can open to 50% capacity starting on June 8.

However, that did not include Detroit’s casinos, which could get a reprieve whenever Whitmer moves to Phase 5 of the state’s pandemic response. The governor said Monday that she hoped to move to Phase 5 by July 4.

Greektown Casino-Hotel, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino have all released safety plans for their eventual reopenings.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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