Detroit Casinos Could Reopen July 4, Joining More Than 10 Tribal Casinos

Tribal casinos in Michigan are already serving guests again, while the Detroit casinos appear poised to reopen early next month.
Reopening of Detroit Casinos

Michigan gambling has made a comeback in recent weeks, though things are still far from being back to normal.

As of Friday, 10 tribal casinos in the state had reopened. The Wolverine State is home to 24 tribal properties and three commercial casinos in Detroit.

It’s expected that the Detroit casinos will reopen for business early next month, possibly on July 4, as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently relaxed COVID-19 restrictions in her state. On June 1, Whitmer announced that bars and restaurants, which the casinos have, can reopen at 50% capacity on June 8.

The tribal casinos are not under the authority of the governor. They did close in March, along with every other casino in the nation, but their respective timelines for reopening, with safety protocols, are independent from the state’s plan for commercial enterprises.

Here’s a look at the reopened casinos:

CasinoClose dateReopen date
Island Resort & CasinoMarch 21May 16
Northern Waters Casino ResortMarch 21May 22
Odawa Casino - MackinawMarch 17May 22
Odawa Casino - PetoskeyMarch 17May 29
Leelanau Sands Casino & LodgeMarch 16May 29
Turtle Creek Casino & HotelMarch 16May 29
Saganing Eagles Landing CasinoMarch 16May 29
Soaring Eagle Slot Palace and Bingo HallMarch 16May 29
Little River Casino ResortMarch 16June 1
FireKeepers Casino HotelMarch 16June 1

Detroit reopenings

The Motor City has been one of the hardest hit in the country since the virus became a national emergency in March. The Detroit casinos aren’t expected to return until near the end of the reopening process.

“The data has shown that we are ready to carefully move our state into the next phase of the MI Safe Start Plan, but we owe it to our brave frontline heroes to get this right,” Whitmer, who signed online casino/sports betting legislation last year, said in a statement on June 1.

“While Michiganders are no longer required to stay home, we must all continue to be smart and practice social distancing, and encourage those who meet the criteria to get tested for COVID-19. If we all do our part, our goal is to announce a shift to Phase Five for the entire state prior to the Fourth of July. Stay smart, stay safe, and let’s all do our part.” 

It would be a symbolic date for Michigan, as the state has been home to some protests over the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said in a statement that the county, home to Detroit, is the “hardest-hit region” in Michigan.

The mayor of Detroit praised Whitmer’s cautiousness. According to city estimates, Detroit is losing about $600,000 a day in tax revenue while the casinos are closed.

“I appreciate Governor Whitmer for her diligence and commitment to reopening the state safely. We look forward to reopening Detroit safely and efficiently,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement.


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