With Thanksgiving approaching, two of the three Detroit commercial casinos will require masks be worn inside their facilities after the state issued a new public health advisory because of COVID-19 cases rising again in the state. Fortunately, Michigan online casinos are legal and thriving.
Beginning at noon Tuesday, masks will be required at MotorCity Casino Hotel and MGM Grand Detroit regardless of a patron’s vaccination status. Greektown Casino has not issued the same mandate — yet. All three Detroit casinos have retail sportsbooks for Michigan sports betting.
On Friday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services urged that masks be worn inside retail stores and businesses by employees and visitors. The advisory took effect immediately on Friday and remains in effect until further notice, according to the state.
- All persons in indoor public settings are advised to wear a face mask, regardless of their vaccination status.
- Public establishments are advised to implement masking policies and encourage compliance with such policies.
- Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or who are immunocompromised are advised to avoid large crowds or gatherings.
Casinos returned to full capacity in July 2021.
In October, the three Detroit commercial casinos had Michigan gambling revenue of $111.5 million. That was a 4.2% increase from the $110.4 million in September. The casinos in October paid state taxes of $9 million and $13.8 million to Detroit, according to figures released by the state on Nov. 10.
What About Lions Game on Thanksgiving Day?
It would seem that Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, would fall under the new health department advisory, but there has not been an announcement specifically about Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
The team has a notice on its website saying, “Ford Field recommends masks for all guests, including those who are fully vaccinated, for all indoor locations as aligned with the City of Detroit Health Department. A limited number of complimentary masks will be available at Guest Services locations throughout the stadium while supplies last.”
The website doesn’t say anything about the new state recommendations. The Detroit Lions are looking for their first win of the season.
The NFL last week issued increased COVID measures with Thanksgiving approaching and the spike nationwide of cases, according to NFL.com.
In a memo to teams on Nov. 16, the league a mandated that all players and staff where masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, between Thanksgiving and Dec. 1. NFL players and staff will be tested the Monday and Wednesday after the holiday, the memo says.
The league did not address stadium protocols in the memo.
NFL Network reported that the increased measures came because the league is coming off its highest number of positive COVID-19 cases all season.
Detroit Sportsbooks October Handle Up
The retail sportsbooks at Detroit’s three MI commercial casinos posted an October total sports betting handle of $34.2 million, up 5.2% from September’s $32.5 million.
The online sportsbooks in Michigan had even better results in October, going over $400 million in handle for the first time online and setting a record for the state. The mobile sports betting handle was $463.3 million, up 30.8% from September ($354.3 million). The old record was $359.5 million in March.
Combined, the state's retail and online sports wagering fell just short of $500 million for the month at $497.5 million.