New rules for Detroit casinos include bans on smoking and severe restrictions on capacity

Socially-distanced video poker machines are shown with every other game out of service at Bellagio Resort and Casino on June 1, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

New rules for Detroit's casinos were released on Monday, following approval from the state's gaming board.

Under minimum reopening guidelines approved by the Michigan Gaming Board, the motor city's gambling centers will have to abide by a strict list of rules upon reopening. 

"In compiling these minimum guidelines, we considered CDC recommendations, Nevada Gaming Board guidelines, and information from the National Indian Gaming Commission,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director. “We required the casinos to propose reopening plans, and we consulted with the casino unions on the guidelines. We believe the guidelines will protect the public when it is safe to reopen the casinos.”

The rules include capacity limits, entrance points, temperature checks, and a ban on smoking on casino floors:

  • Limit of 15 percent the legal capacity at each casino
  • Limited entrance points with temperature checks
  • A ban on smoking on the casino floors
  • No poker rooms
  • Heightened cleaning protocols
  • Social distancing

It's unclear when Detroit's casinos, which include MGM Grand, Greektown, MotorCity Casino, can reopen. The rules listed above will apply to casinos upon a return to work, which will come after the governor issues an executive order allowing it.

Some of Detroit's biggest moneymakers, the COVID-19 shutdowns have slashed revenues in the city's casinos by more than 50%. Compared with year-to-date revenue reported last year of $617.9 million, Detroit's three casinos only brought in $299.2 million They also didn't produce any revenue in May due to orders mandating they remain closed.

The lost revenue also means there was a $25.8 million decrease in tax payments to the state as well.