Live Updates: All But One Michigan Casino Reopened After Second COVID-19 Closure

Written By Matt Schoch on November 16, 2020Last Updated on December 11, 2021
detroit casinos

All but one of Michigan’s casinos are now reopened after many were closed a second time because of the coronavirus.

The three Detroit casinos closed on Nov. 18 under a new order announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

But Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino were allowed to open last week. Greektown unveiled its new Barstool Sportsbook at when it reopened on Wednesday night.

The casinos closed as part of a three-week shutdown to prevent and fight the coronavirus spread in Michigan. The original shutdown was extended through Dec. 20.

The only closed casino is Kings Club Casino in Brimley, which has been closed since the first coronavirus shutdown in March. Kings Club has a sister casino, Bay Mills Casino, which is open 2 miles down the road.

New directives from the state allow for the Detroit casinos to open under certain conditions and health and safety restrictions. In addition, tribal casinos are either closing doors or adding restrictions to gameplay and entertainment on site.

This is the second time this year that casinos closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Detroit casinos closed on March 16, five days after Michigan sports betting launched, and reopened five months later in early August. Until last week, Detroit casinos operated with 15% capacity limits and numerous safety protocols.

Stay up to date on the latest information about casino closures, restrictions, and reopenings here with Playinmichigan. Here’s what we know.

Michigan casinos closing due to COVID-19 pandemic (updates)

Dec. 28 updates

10:30 a.m. — All but one of Michigan’s casinos are now reopened

Bay Mills Casino in Brimley reopened on Monday morning, meaning all but one of the state’s casinos are opened for business as 2021 approaches.

The only closed casino is the Bay Mills sister property across town, Kings Club Casino, which has been closed since the original shutdown in March.

Detroit’s casinos all reopened last week.

Dec. 22 updates

3:30 p.m. — PNG: Greektown Casino will open Wednesday night instead

After indicating earlier Tuesday that a Thursday opening was coming, Greektown Casino will open on Wednesday night.

While confirming the unveiling of the permanent Barstool Sportsbook at the casino, Jeff Morris of parent company Penn National Gaming confirmed the casino would open at 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

10:15 a.m. — Greektown Casino will open Thursday for Christmas Eve

The last of Detroit’s three casinos has announced plans to reopen for Christmas Eve.

Greektown Casino will reopen on Thursday after its city counterparts reopen on Wednesday. No details were available yet Tuesday about what will reopen and the time of the reopening.

The Penn National Gaming casino has been teasing progress of the permanent Barstool Sportsbook, which could possibly be ready for action upon reopening.

Check back to Playinmichigan for more updates about Greektown and Barstool Sportsbook.

Dec. 21 updates

4 p.m. — Upper Peninsula’s Bay Mills Casino will reopen next week

While we wait for word about Detroit’s Greektown Casino, another Michigan casino has announced its plans to reopen.

Bay Mills Casino in Brimley of the Upper Peninsula will reopen at 10 a.m. on Dec. 28.

There will be no poker, craps or roulette, and no drink service on the casino floor.

Kings Club Casino, the sister property of Bay Mills, has been closed since the first COVID-19 shutdown in March.

9 a.m. — MGM Grand Detroit reopening at 5 p.m. Wednesday

MGM Grand Detroit became Detroit’s second casino to announced reopening plans, promoting a 5 p.m. Wednesday start.

The BetMGM Sportsbook will open on Wednesday, though table games will not open until 8 a.m. Saturday. Food and beverage service will be temporarily unavailable, per state regulations.

The announcement was posted on Monday morning, one day after MotorCity Casino announced its 1 p.m. reopening.

Dec. 20 updates

2:30 p.m. — MotorCity Casino will open at 1 p.m. Wednesday

The first of Detroit’s three casinos has indicated its reopening plans for this week.

MotorCity Casino has announced it will reopen at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

No word yet from Greektown Casino or MGM Grand Detroit about their plans.

Dec. 18 updates

2:30 p.m. — New statewide directives clear way for Detroit casinos to open Monday

Gov. Whitmer announced Friday an extension of Michigan COVID-19 restrictions, though she allowed the Detroit casinos to open on Monday.

Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino are allowed to reopen, though none have announced intentions to do so.

The restrictions include the following:

  • Limit attendance to 20% capacity in fixed seating areas.
  • Limit attendance to 20 persons per 1.000 square feet in non-fixed seating areas.
  • No food and drink.
  • Total occupancy in each room is limited to 100 persons.

Dec. 15 updates

1 p.m. — Bay Mills extends closure until Dec. 28

An Upper Peninsula tribal casino will miss out on some holiday gambling this year.

Bay Mills Casino in Brimley announced this week that it has extended its closure until the morning of Dec. 28, meaning it will miss out on gaming over the Christmas holiday weekend.

Dec. 8 updates

4:45 p.m. — Little River, Kewadin Casinos reopening Wednesday morning

Little River Casino Resort in Manistee will reopen on Wednesday morning, along with five Kewadin Casinos in the state’s Upper Peninsula.

At Little River, slots will be available at 8 a.m., and table games will open at 10 a.m., according to the casino’s announcement. The casino will close at midnight.

Sportsbook kiosks will be open throughout each day, but the River Rock Sportsbook & Grill bar only will open on Saturday and Sunday.

Kewadin will open its five locations at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Table games will not be open at any location.

Full details for the reopenings are posted on their website.

Bay Mills and Kings Club in Brimley, along with the three Detroit casinos, remain closed.

Dec. 7 updates

3 p.m. — Governor announces extension of Detroit casino closure

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday afternoon that the closure of some Michigan businesses, including Detroit’s three casinos, is extended through Dec. 20.

Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino have been closed since Nov. 18.

We’ll check with tribal casinos across the state for any updates. Kewadin Casinos, which has five casinos in the Upper Peninsula, is still slated to reopen on Wednesday.

Dec. 4 updates

11 a.m. — Bay Mills Casino extends closure another week

Bay Mills Casino will stay closed through Dec. 18, extending the shutdown one more week than originally planned for the Brimley facility in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“It is likely that we will revisit this on a week-by-week basis until the end of the year,” Bay Mills Indian Community Chairman Bryan Newland said on Facebook.

There is not yet word on reopenings in Detroit, as current health department restrictions expire next week.

Dec. 3 updates

9 a.m. — Face shields no longer enough at Odawa

Odawa Casino announced Monday it will no longer accept face shields as a face covering for guests and team members.

According to a Facebook post from the Petoskey casino, “FACE SHIELDS ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED unless they are being worn for extra protection in combination with a cloth mask or neck gaiter.”

Nov. 30 updates

1 p.m. — Caesars Windsor temporarily closes

Caesars Windsor, across the border from Detroit, has temporarily closed as of midnight early Monday morning.

The move comes as Windsor-Essex moves to the red, or control, level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response, CBC reports.

Nov. 23 updates

Noon — Little River becomes 11th Michigan casino to close

Little River Casino Resort in Manistee is the latest Michigan casino to close because of the pandemic.

The casino closed on Sunday and plans to be closed through Dec. 9.

Which casinos are closed in Michigan right now?

Detroit’s trio of casinos, Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino, closed last week through Dec. 8 by order of the state’s health department. The closure was extended through Dec. 20.

Tribal casinos are operated by their autonomous tribes, which are not governed by Whitmer. Tribal casinos closed in Michigan include:

  • Little River Casino in Manistee, closed for three weeks but reopened Dec. 9
  • Bay Mills Resort in Brimley, closed through Dec. 28; reopened on Dec. 28
  • Kings Club Casino, Brimley, closed since March because of pandemic
  • Five Kewadin Casinos in the Upper Peninsula, closed for three weeks but reopened Dec. 9

Bay Mills Casino in Brimley announced its closure at noon on Wednesday until Dec. 11. It later extended the closure.

Which casinos are open in Michigan right now?

Fifteen tribal casinos remain open:

  • FireKeepers Casino, Battle Creek
  • Four Winds Casinos, Dowagiac, Hartford, New Buffalo
  • Gun Lake Casino, Wayland
  • Island Resort Casino, Harris
  • Leelanau Sands, Peshawbestown
  • Northern Waters Casino Resort, Watersmeet
  • Odawa Casinos, Mackinaw City and Petoskey
  • Ojibwa Casinos, Baraga and Marquette
  • Saganing Eagles Landing, Standish
  • Soaring Eagle Casino Resort, Mount Pleasant
  • Turtle Creek, Williamsburg

Soaring Eagle Casino Resort in Mount Pleasant announced on Facebook that it will remain open.

“Should new information emerge that indicates otherwise, we will revisit this decision,” a statement read. “We will continue to review protocols in all areas of our operation and make adjustments as deemed appropriate.”

FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek also plans to stay open.

Odawa Casino, which has locations in Petoskey and Mackinaw City, also plans to stay open.

Detroit casinos reopened on Christmas week

The statewide closure began in November. High schools, in-person dining, theaters, and group fitness classes are also among the other closures outlined by Whitmer.

Greektown, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino all reopened by Christmas though after a second 2020 shutdown.

In October, Detroit casinos combined for $101.4 million in revenue. Gambling resulted in $7.6 million in tax revenue for the state of Michigan in the month and $11.2 million in revenue for the city of Detroit.

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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 former 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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