For residents of Michigan who like to gamble, and more specifically those close to Detroit, the end of recent restrictions right before the end of the year will come as welcome news.

The Wolverine State had shut down many businesses and schools to help pause the spread of COVID-19 before the holidays, but those reigns were loosened on December 18. For the Motor City Casino in Detroit, that means people can return to the site to gamble, starting on December 23 at 1 p.m, according to

“These past few weeks, Michiganders across the state stepped up and did their part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said. “And because of our collective hard work, we are now able to begin the steps to carefully lift some of the protocols we have in place.”

But there are some rules that must be maintained, even with the opening: mandatory face masks,social distancing throughout the casino by “shutting down slot machines, removing seating at table games and using plexiglass barriers”, temperature checks of guests and staff as they enter the building, prohibiting smoking inside the facility, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

There are also limits to how many people can be in the casino at one time. Right now, there are just 100 people allowed inside any venue where people can remain socially-distanced, but there is no food or drink concessions allowed to be open.

“Our occupancy is 20 people per 1,000 square feet but not more than 100 in a distinct space, and we have a large casino with numerous distinct spaces,” a press release from the casino stated. “MotorCity Casino most importantly appreciates that the new order permitting its reopening allows it to initially recall and provide critical employment and healthcare benefits to much of its workforce.”

Along with the casino, the FanDuel sports book will open at the same time Wednesday (1 p.m.), while the hotel will open back up for business on December 26. Little Caesars and the Grand River Deli & Burgers will both open up for take out only when the casino reopens, but everything else in the casino, such as the bars, clubs, spas, and other eating establishments are to remain closed for now.

Michigan’s casinos and online gambling platforms are still waiting for the go-ahead to launch, with the process taking longer than expected. It was hoped that online sports betting would be available in last fall of 2020, but it now looks more likely that the Michigan apps will launch sometime in January of 2021.

Right now, there are 15 sites that will launch in the Wolverine State in 2021, with three set to go live right away when allowed (Bet Rivers, William Hill, and Wynn) and another three set to go live in January at some point, possibly as soon as allowed as well (BetMGM, Draft Kings, FanDuel).


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