Michigan Casinos Planning To Reopen Poker Rooms

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Is poker coming back to the Motor City?

Apparently, as casinos in the city reportedly have made plans to reopen the rooms, which are the trickiest casino offering to pull off amid a COVID-19 pandemic. According to The Detroit News, MotorCity Casino sent out an email about its plans to reopen its 17-table poker room this week.

Per the report, the Michigan Gaming Control Board hasn’t approved the plan yet, so it’s unclear if it will actually happen.

Greektown Casino reportedly has plans to reopen its 13-table room in a few weeks. No word from MGM Grand Detroit and its 17-table room.

Any poker room reopening would likely involve plexiglass dividers and shorthanded tables.

Confusion with regard to plans?

The report indicated there was some confusion on behalf of regulators, as they need to sign off on the plans. There isn’t any controversy here, as the casinos and the MGCB will surely get on the same page. No casino is looking to rock the boat, especially as online casino gambling is set to kick off later this year or in early 2021.

The apparent communication misstep by the casinos could be indicative of their struggles operating in a COVID-19 environment. The Detroit casinos reopened far later than commercial casinos in other states and also lagged behind the tribal casinos in Michigan by a handful of weeks.

It’s expected that Michigan will follow in the footsteps of states like Pennsylvania and West Virginia and not kick off online poker right away after iCasino and sports betting launch. Michigan may begin with sports betting in order to capitalize on the NFL season and then begin online casino gambling at a later date, potentially followed even later by peer-to-peer poker.

It’s unclear what timeline the state will have with online poker, as it’s not the same kind of money printer that other forms of online gaming are, but the pandemic has made iPoker much more popular. The brick-and-mortar casinos may be looking to resume live poker because of plans to begin online poker in the near future.

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Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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