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Michigan And Rhode Island Reopen Casino Markets

Only Major Gambling Markets Remaining With Forced Closures Are Pennsylvania And California

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Casinos in Michigan and Rhode Island are reopening again following a second shutdown in response to the most recent wave of COVID-19 cases.

Two of the three commercial casinos in Detroit are reopening Wednesday after a five-week shutdown. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer mandated the state’s casinos, as well as other indoor activities, to shutter for at least three weeks in mid-March.

MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity casino will both be taking bets again, with MotorCity opening its doors at 1 p.m. and MGM kicking off its reopening at 5 p.m. Greektown Casino, the third commercial casino in Detroit, is not ready to reopen and has not announced a date.

Both properties are operating under heavy restrictions. MGM Grand’s poker room and hotel tower are closed until at least Jan. 25 and only slot machines will be available for the first few days. Table games will reopen Dec. 26 at 8 a.m. MotorCity’s poker room is also closed and it will only accommodate up to 1,600 guests at a time.

Whitmer’s first casino closure lasted from mid-March through early August. The state is set to roll out online gambling, including poker in early 2021.

Rhode Island’s pair of commercial casinos reopened Monday following a three-week pause mandated by Gov. Gina Raimondo. Both Twin River properties opened at the start of the week with heavy restrictions. Neither the Lincoln nor the Tiverton location is open 24/7 anymore. Instead, both will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Lincoln’s poker room did not reopen and Tiverton kept its racebook closed.

The measures implemented in Rhode Island are nearly identical to the ones mandated by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who forced his state’s three casinos to close overnight.

With the reopening of Rhode Island and Michigan’s casino market, California and Pennsylvania are the only two states with sizable gambling revenues that have mandated casinos to close at this point.