Detroit Casinos to Shut Down Again Amid COVID-19 Case Rise

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on the entire world, including the US. One of the states that has also started reporting a huge increase in cases is Michigan, which made its lawmakers bring new rules. 

The most important one will be a three-week shutdown that was announced on Sunday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The shutdown will effectively start on Wednesday.

Casinos in Detroit, Michigan, will also have to close their doors for three weeks in order to control the spread of the coronavirus, which turned out to be pretty rapid in Michigan. The state has reported a total of 251,813 cases, with 98,000 alone taking place during the past 30 days. Moreover, a total of 7,993 deaths were reported in the state, from the start of the pandemic, with 959 cases from October 15 to November 15.

Whitmer stated that the country needed to act as soon as possible in order to prevent thousands of citizens from dying and preventing the hospitals from being overwhelmed. She encouraged Michigan residents to listen to health experts and, “take action to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the main reason for the surge of COVID-19 cases were “indoor social gatherings.” Therefore, the shutdown order is mainly going after those.

Still, not all indoor activities will be limited. All entertainment and recreational places, such as bowling alleys, theaters, and night clubs, will have to close. However, restaurants will be able to allow outdoor dining. Finally, retail outlets, museums, and libraries can remain open, but their maximum indoor capacity of people will be limited to 30.

Finally, professional and college sports will continue, but they will have to meet the “extraordinary standards” in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. Needless to say, they will have to play games with no spectators, as arenas and stadiums will be closed.

Are Layoffs in Detroit Casinos Inevitable?

Michigan is officially the first state to order the second lockdown for casinos. Moreover, the commercial casinos in Detroit were among the last to open after the first lockdown. Finally, even when they operated, they did it at 15% capacity, meaning the majority of workers didn’t have to return to their jobs. Could this affect the workers and result in layoffs?

According to a spokesperson for MGM Resorts International, which operates the popular MGM Grand Detroit, there are no official comments from the company as there is no information yet on this subject.

There are also 24 tribal casinos in Michigan, but they are not subject to MDHHS order. Therefore, it’s not certain whether they will close their doors as well. Tribal casinos voluntarily closed their doors in March to contain the spread. Still, they were also among the first ones to open, instead of waiting until August, when casinos were allowed to open their doors in Michigan. 

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