Though the Canadian border is still closed, casino gambling is returning soon across the Detroit River.
Caesars Windsor announced this week it will reopen Oct. 8, allowing invited guests back on the slot machine floor.
The casino will have a maximum of 50 customers at a time, restricted only to select Caesars Rewards members.
Caesars Windsor has been closed since March 16 because of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the three Detroit casinos have been reopened since early August with 15% capacity and other state-mandated restrictions.
No table games or non-gaming amenities
There had been talk of a larger opening, including dividing the casino into 12 50-person pods, but that’s apparently not yet in the cards.
There will be no frills for the reopening next month at the casino, which is requiring masks to cover patrons’ mouth and nose.
Caesars Windsor will not reopen table games nor non-gaming amenities for initial reopening.
“While limited, opening under these restrictions allows us to bring back a small number of employees and provides us with an opportunity to reconnect with our guests and the community,” Susanne Tomkins, the casino’s manager of public relations and communications, told the Windsor Star. “We are hoping this is the first step in expanding capacity and are looking forward to welcoming back more guests and employees in the near future.”
Customers will be required to make a reservation in advance, according to the casino. Guests can sign up for up to two four-hour sessions per day from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m., according to the Star.
About 150 of the casino’s 2,400 employees will initially return to work, the newspaper reported.
Will more sports betting come to Canada?
While Michigan moved to take sports bets this year, Canada is lagging behind.
During the pandemic, there was movement to add single-wager sports betting in Canada, which only allows parlay-style bets for now.
However, a series of setbacks delayed legislative efforts and could push further progress into 2021.
Parliamentary business was suspended in August for more than a month, essentially forcing a restart to expanded gambling efforts.
Other casinos opening across Canada
Earlier this month, Great Canadian Gaming announced 11 of its casinos would reopen next week in New Brunswick and Ontario.
Most casinos in the United States have reopened after closing in March because of the pandemic. According to tracking by the American Gaming Association, 901 US casinos were open Thursday afternoon, and 92 were closed.
In Michigan, 25 casinos have reopened and only the Kings Club Casino in Brimley remains closed. However, its sister casino down the road, Bay Mills Casino, has reopened.
Canadian border still closed indefinitely
The ban on US/Canadian border crossings will extend through at least Oct. 21. After that, more extensions could follow.
Health care workers, truck drivers transporting essential goods, temporary foreign workers, and others are exempt.