When Michigan’s three commercial casinos in Detroit reopen, poker will not be an option for gamblers after state regulators issued casino reopening guidelines Monday.
According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, the casino will be operating at 15 percent of its total capacity, managing temperature checks at entrances, forcing guests to wear masks, ensuring six feet of social distancing between gamblers, and keeping the poker88 room closed. Casinos will also temporarily eliminate smoking on gambling floors, self-wilt buffets, valet service and suits.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer implemented several strict lockdown orders from any state in response to the COVID -19 pandemic. He signed an executive order in mid-March forcing casinos to close and has not given a date when the casinos will be open for business again.
Michigan Gaming Board Executive Director Richard Kalm said the guidelines were drawn up from other major regulatory bodies across the state.
“In drawing up these minimum guidelines, we took into account the CDC recommendations, the Nevada Game Board guidelines and information from the National Indian Gaming Commission,” Kalm told Free Press. “We asked the casino to propose a reopening plan, and we consulted with the casino union about guidelines.”
The largest city in the state is home to MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino. The rest of the state casinos are tribal entities and not subject to state regulations. Some have reopened.
Across the country, the gambling market has started betting again, with many Las Vegas casinos opening last Thursday. Poker room policies, however, vary from country to country and even casino to casino.
In Florida, many poker rooms opened in late May with short-hand games, but some rooms have already switched to nine-hand games.
Las Vegas poker rooms were originally supposed to run four-handed games at the start of the reopening process, but regulators allowed five-hand games to be played only a day after the casino opened. The poker room at The Venetian is the only room on the Las Vegas Strip that is currently operating. Orleans, South Point and the Golden Nugget have also reopened, while larger rooms await six-handed play before spreading the game.