Safety measures in place
MGM Grand Detroit is set to reopen its poker room at noon on January 15 after it remained shuttered since March because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Michigan casino property posted a tweet on Wednesday about its resumption plans:
The poker room will operate around the clock, but the food and beverages facility will remain closed. This is in line with the state’s current pandemic measures, which prohibit the public from consuming food or drink at indoor establishments. Patrons must wear masks at all times, while casino staff will regularly sanitize the facility’s plexiglass dividers, poker chips, and cards.
The MGM Grand Detroit poker room will only be offering cash games, with no tournaments taking place for the moment.
Regulatory green light
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has given all three casinos operating in Detroit the green light to reopen their poker rooms. As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the premises will be subject to certain restrictions from the authorities and their respective operators.
only five poker tables available at any one time
MGM Grand Detroit will have only five poker tables available at any one time, and these will be spaced out. Tables will only be able to host eight players at once, rather than the maximum of nine. All players will have plexiglass barriers separating them from the other participants.
Speaking about the protection measures, the property’s poker operations manager Keith Frankel wrote in an email: “We’re keeping the health and safety of our guests and employees at the forefront of all we do.”
A Greektown Casino representative told The Detroit News that the property will resume its poker room operation in the coming weeks. The MotorCity Casino has not given any indication as to when it plans to restart its poker games.
A tough time for poker
Casinos in Detroit originally shut down in mid-March of 2020 at the onset of the pandemic outbreak in the US. While the properties reopened in August for a time, poker rooms were not able to restart their operations. The same thing happened when casinos reopened in December after another bout of closures.
Poker players in the state have therefore been unable to play at Detroit’s three commercial casinos for ten months. Commercial casinos in the state struggled in 2020 as a whole because of the pandemic closures. The three casinos generated revenue of $639m in 2020, a year-on-year drop of 56%.
Online poker is set to go live in Michigan over the coming weeks with the imminent launch of legal online casino and sportsbook markets.