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Michigan Governor permits casinos to reopen from August 5


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmar has announced that indoor venues in the state will be permitted to reopen from tomorrow (July 31), with casinos cleared to recommence operations from August 5.

The state’s three commercial casinos – the MGM Grand, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino, all located in Detroit – were ordered to temporary close on March 16 as part of state-wide measures to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Whitmar has now signed an Executive Order allowing the casinos to reopen from August 5, but, as announced by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) last month, the venues will each be limited to 15% of their legal capacity.

Other measures include the casinos conducting daily entry screening protocols for customers and staff, as well as carrying out temperature screening. Patrons will also be required to wear a face covering, except while eating or drinking or for identification purposes.

Aside from casinos, the Safe Start Order will allow state-wide indoor gatherings to commence from July 31, but these will be limited to 10 people, while bars will need to remain closed for indoor service.

“As we see Covid-19 cases continue to rise, Michiganders cannot afford to drop our guard,” Governor Whitmar said. “We must take every step possible to save lives, protect the brave men and women on the front lines, and avoid overwhelming our healthcare system while we continue to combat Covid-19.”

“After seeing a resurgence in cases connected to social gatherings across the state, we must further limit gatherings for the health of our community and economy. By taking these strong actions, we will be better positioned to get our children back into classrooms and avoid a potentially devastating second wave.”

Earlier this month, the MGCB revealed that the MGM Grand, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino brought in a combined $299.2m in revenue, down 59.3%, for the first six months of 2020, with no revenue generated since they closed in March.

Although Michigan has legalised online gaming and betting, the licensing process only opened earlier this month, with the first igaming offerings not expected to be live until late 2020 at the earliest.