Due to the new state public health order, Detroit’s three commercial casinos will shut down Wednesday through Dec. 8. It’s the second state-mandated shutdown for MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown Casino and MotorCity Casino.
As for Michigan's tribal casinos, those facilities are not subject to the state order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It’s up to each casino’s discretion whether to remain open or to close going forward.
During the first shutdown, the tribal casinos closed briefly before returning to operations in the spring. The tribal casinos reopened much sooner in the spring compared to Detroit’s commercial casinos, with MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown and MotorCity returning in early August.
Here is a current rundown of each tribal casino’s plans going forward.
In a press release, Bay Mills announced it will follow the state’s lead and close its casino for three weeks starting on Wednesday. Bay Mills’ employees will be paid during the three-week closure.
“The pandemic is unpredictable,” said Bay Mills Tribal Chairman Bryan Newland. “Fortunately, we budgeted CARES Act funds in anticipation another shutdown might occur. We believe in protecting our community as well as our employees.”
In a tweet posted on its social media page, FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek announced it will remain open.
“As a critical infrastructure of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Firekeepers will, for the time being, continue to operate under strict health and safety protocols designed to keep our team members and guests safe,” the tweet said.
Four Winds’ three casinos, Dowagaic, Hartford and New Buffalo are scheduled to remain open.
“We are open and operations with continue with our current COVID guidelines in place,” A spokesperson for Four Winds casino said when asked for an update on the casinos’ status.
Gun Lake Casino in Wayland plans to stay open until further notice, but noted guests should view the casino’s website and social media pages for updates.
Under one of its Facebook posts promoting a Thanksgiving dinner special, the Island Resort and Casino in Harris commented the casino will remain open.
“The Island Resort and Casino acknowledges the state of Michigan’s most recent updates. We will be remaining open while continuing to follow the Employee and Guest Safety Guidelines and Protocols,” the comment said.
When reached for comment, Kewadin Casinos employees mentioned they have not heard anything regarding whether they will be closing soon. For now, it’s business as usual for Kewadin’s five locations.
Kings Club Casino’s website has an old message on it saying, “Kings Club will remain closed until further notice. We will keep our patrons informed as we learn more.”
The message was posted when Bay Mills was still open, so it’s safe to assume Kings Club in Brimley will remain closed with Bay Mills now closing, too.
More information regarding the two casinos owned and operated by the Grand Traverse band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will come Tuesday afternoon. The tribe is meeting at 3 p.m. to decide how to proceed regarding Turtle Creek and Leelanau Sands’ open status.
Little River Casino Resort in Manistee did not give an update when reached by phone regarding the casino’s status going forward. It remains open for now.
Similar to Little River, Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet had no new update about whether the casino plans to close or not. For now, it is staying open.
As of now, Odawa Casinos in Petoskey and Mackinaw City remain open. The employees have not heard any updates.
Both Ojibwa casinos in the Upper Peninsula remain open at this time. Visitors are advised to call and check the status of the casino they are visiting before traveling to the facility.
Both Saganing and Soaring Eagle announced on their Facebook pages they will remain open. In a lengthy Facebook post, the casinos detailed the safety measures they’ve taken since reopening on May 28, 2020, and how they believe those measures are safe enough to keep both facilities open.
“We have decided to keep our gaming facilities open under our stringent Health and Sanitation Plan,” the post said. “We do not believe that closing the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Saganing Eagles Landing Casino & Hotel and The Slot Palace & Bingo Hall will reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Should new information emerge that indicates otherwise, we will revisit this decision. We will continue to review protocols in all areas of our operation and make adjustments as deemed appropriate.”