Detroit’s Casino Reopening Plans Include Smoking, Poker, and Buffet Bans

MGM Grand DetroitWhen Detroit’s three casinos finally reopen, it’s going to come alongside some big changes.

On Monday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board approved reopening guidelines that will require visitors to wear face masks, undergo a temperature check upon entering, and not smoke, play poker, or eat at the buffet.

Detroit casinos, per the guidelines, will also be limited to 15 percent maximum capacity initially.

Currently, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has yet to lift the coronavirus shutdown order that was put into place nearly three months ago, on March 16.

While casinos don’t have a definitive start date just yet, tribal casinos in the state have already reopened to the public.

Casinos in Las Vegas finally reopened last Thursday, but with Michigan’s heightened number of coronavirus cases and deaths as compared to Nevada and other states that have reopened, they’re taking the right precautions to make sure the state is in good condition to reopen casinos safely.

According to gaming board Executive Director Richard Kalm, CDC recommendations, Nevada Gaming Board guidelines, and data from the National Indian Gaming Commission was carefully considered in crafting the reopening guidelines.

Reopening Guidelines for MGM Grand, MotorCity and Greektown Casinos

The COVID-19 safety guidelines for commercial casinos in Detroit’s three casinos, MGM Grand, MotorCity, and Greektown, were developed in considering the initial reopening. It’s unsure yet how long these particular measures will be in effect, but let’s take a look into the specific protocols below.

Guest and Employee Casino Entry

Entry points into all three casinos will be reduced, with signage visibly seen upon entering reminding guests of the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing, proper handwashing, how to wear facial masks and to stay home if feeling sick.

A non-contact thermometer or thermal scanner device will record the internal temperature of every entrant, making sure that they are not above the temperature danger zone of 100.4 degrees. Anyone who exceeds the appropriate temperature will be denied access and directed otherwise.

Guests must be wearing a face mask that covers their nose and mouth in order to gain access into the casino. For patrons who need to be identified by security or other staff members, they may be asked to lower their masks to confirm identity.

Casino personnel stationed at entry points will receive additional training in how to properly identify guests who may be exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and incident protocols.

Occupancy will be monitored and enforced to ensure that the maximum limit of 15 percent isn’t gone over.

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Each of Detroit’s three casinos must be in compliance with local, state, and federal COVID-19 health requirements. Recommendations are also to be strongly considered and implemented.

Employees are to receive thorough COVID-19 training, discussing symptom identification, incident protocols, and proper use and disposal of personal protective equipment.

All employees will also be required to undergo a temperature check at the start of every shift to ensure their internal temperature is below 100.4 degrees.

Signage with CDC reminders will be placed throughout back-of-house areas to remind staff on how to conduct themselves to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

All publically-available items throughout the casinos which are regularly touched and used will be sanitized frequently. Those items include ATM machines, counters, door handles, elevator panels and buttons, restrooms, chairs, light switches, phones, kiosks, clocks, etc.

As often as available, disinfectant wipes will be placed throughout the casino to allow guests to disinfect surfaces after using them.

Enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented throughout the front-of-house and back-of-house areas.

Slot Machines

All casinos are to schedule frequent cleanings of slot machines. To the extent available, disinfectant wipes should be made available near slot machines so players can use them to wipe down machines before use.

Casinos are to support the CDC’s social distancing guidelines by either installing plexiglass barriers between machines, removing every other chair from certain machines, or disabling certain slot machines altogether.

Table Games

In the casinos’ initial reopening, poker rooms will not be available.

All table games will be limited to three players each, with midi-baccarat games being limited to four players each, and craps games limited to six players each.

All dealers are to wear face masks or face shields when dealing with players.

Playing cards are to be replaced at the start of every shift, with casinos developing their own plans for having chips cleaned and sanitized daily.

For every new shooter, dice must be disinfected.

Those who are not playing at the table are not to congregate table games or stand behind players.

Queuing Areas

Queuing areas throughout the casino floors but be marked with floor markers to identify proper social distancing placement when in lines or other areas.

Elevator areas are to include signage requirement that no more than four people are to use an elevator at once.

Food and Beverage Service

Casino employees are to wear face masks throughout their shift and be conscious of practicing social distancing with every guest interaction, as feasibly possible, such as in the dispensation of food and drinks.

Prohibited Activities

The following activities are prohibited in the initial reopening of the casinos: Poker rooms, smoking on the casino floor, concerts, nightclubs, and all other forms of live entertainment, valet services, coat check, buffets, self-serve soda and coffee stations.

Sportsbook

Sportsbooks are to be rearranged to support social distancing among bettors. Floor marking at to be utilized in designated line areas, high-touch surfaces like tables, seats, and kiosks, must be frequently cleaned and sanitized, and ticket writers are to either wear face masks/shields and gloves or have a plexiglass barrier installed between them and sports bettors

Current COVID-19 Trends in Michigan

As of Monday, the state has reported 64,701 known cases of COVID-19 and 5,912 related deaths.

The new daily cases of COVID-19 continue to fall throughout the state, averaging 193 new daily cases currently, compared with the average of 283 daily cases over the previous five-day period.

Daily death trend is also falling, with an average of 21 deaths over the last five days, as compared with 33 days over the previous five-day stretch.

Stay Tuned

With Detroit casinos gearing up to reopen in the near future, it’s good to see that they’ve publically released their reopening safety protocols to instill some confidence in guests anxious to return.

What do you think of the restrictions? Will you be going to visit one of Detroit’s three casinos once they reopen?

Let us know in the comments below!