Once Open, MGM Grand Detroit Will Require Face Masks, Just Like Caesars’ Properties

Posted on June 25, 2020

While Detroit casinos await reopening, two of the world’s biggest casino companies made a safety requirement Wednesday that will impact the local gaming market.

Caesars Entertainment announced that “masks are required” at all times inside its casinos, except when customers are eating or drinking.

Shortly after, MGM Resorts International followed up with a mask requirement.

Caesars’ requirement, which went into effect on Wednesday afternoon, covers each of the company’s US brands and those in Ontario. MGM’s announcement includes its US properties, including MGM Grand Detroit, Michigan’s busiest casino.

Across the Detroit River, Caesars Windsor has not yet announced its reopening date, just like its Detroit counterparts.

Caesars takes a bold step, MGM follows

Previous to the announcement, all Caesars employees and guests at table games were required to wear masks, but others weren’t.

Anyone who refuses to wear a mask will be directed to leave the property. Tony Rodio, the CEO of Caesars Entertainment, said:

“We promised that Caesars would continue to evaluate the latest recommendations, directives and medical science regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and modify our enhanced health and safety protocols accordingly. The scientific evidence strongly suggests that wearing masks and practicing social distancing may be the most important deterrents to spreading COVID-19 from person to person.”

Caesars properties in Louisiana, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, Indiana, Arizona, California and North Carolina will abide by the new rules. In addition, casinos in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois and Ontario will have the requirement, too, when they reopen.

Although Detroit counterparts Greektown Casino-Hotel and MotorCity Casino do not yet have mask requirements in place for their reopening, MGM followed with its requirement.

Casino border war on hold during pandemic

Michigan bettors intrigued by Caesars’ mask requirement can’t currently make a run for the Canadian border.

The US-Canadian border is closed for nonessential travel through July 21, and the timeline has been pushed back three times.

With real money casinos and mobile sports betting not up and running yet, metro Detroit gamblers have limited places to play.

Relief should come in Detroit soon, but maybe not by the long-expected Fourth of July deadline.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has resisted moving the state into the next reopening phase, saying Tuesday on WWJ-950 AM that the state is not yet ready.

Detroit casinos will have other safety measures

The Michigan Gaming Control Board passed minimum guidelines this month for Detroit casinos to reopen, including a 15% capacity.

Other measures include:

  • Limited entrance points with temperature checks.
  • A smoking ban on the casino floors.
  • No poker rooms.
  • Heightened cleaning protocols.
  • Social distancing requirements.

When will Caesars Windsor reopen?

No date has been set for Caesars Windsor reopening by the Ontario Gaming and Lottery Corporation (OLG).

According to the Windsor Star, Caesars pledged cooperation with the OLG, along with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and Unifor Local 444, the casino’s union.

Recent relaxed restrictions in Canada have allowed construction at Caesars Windsor, including hotel room updates and enhancements and the restaurants.

Most Michigan casinos are open

Nearly all of Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos have reopened after the closings because of the coronavirus.

There are three holdovers, including the Ojibwa Casinos in the Upper Peninsula, both set to open next week. The Baraga location is scheduled to open on Monday with Marquette opening on Wednesday.

The Kings Club Casino in Brimley is closed, too, though the Bay Mills Indian Community reopened the neighboring Bay Mills Resort & Casino across town.

Social media posts indicate Kings Club is closed “until further notice.”

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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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