Michigan Casinos to Reopen with Restrictions on December 23

Casinos in Michigan are reopening this week following the recent shutdown in response to the second wave of COVID-19 infections raging through the US. Two of the three commercial casinos in Detroit will reopen on December 23, following a five-week shutdown.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered all casinos in the state to hold-off indoor activities for at least three weeks. This was the second time such restrictions were imposed since March 2020.

Following the latest orders, MotorCity and MGM Grand Detroit will be opening their doors to patrons at 1 P.M. and 5 P.M. respectively. While Greektown Casinos, Detroit’s third property isn’t quite ready to reopen as of yet.

Both MotorCity and MGM Grand Detroit are currently operating under heavy restrictions. And MGM’s hotel tower and poker rooms are closed till January 25 at the very least. The management can only operate slot machines during the first few days while table games will be accessible after December 26.

MotorCity’s poker room is also closed in the meantime, and the casino is allowed to host just 1,600 guests at any given time. The state faced a massive revenue crunch during the pandemic, with most casinos and other indoor businesses remaining shut from mid-March to August. While businesses slowly get back on the right foot, poker will only be offered from January 2021.

Michigan Approves Bill to Regulate Online Poker

The House of Representatives voted 85-16 in favor of the SB-991, a follow-up Bill to the Lawful Internet Gambling Act. This allows the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to team up with the authorities from surrounding jurisdictions and facilitate interstate online poker. The Bill is now awaiting Governor Whitmer’s signature to pass as a law.

Online poker was first authorized on December 20, 2019, when Governor Whitmer passed multiple laws legalizing online gambling in Michigan. The Governor quoted that the additional tax revenue would benefit Michigan schools and firefighters battling cancer. The MGCB has been working tirelessly to facilitate the Governor’s vision ever since.

The board granted the first 15 provisional licenses last week, and the first online casinos are scheduled to go live in January 2021. BetMGM, for instance, is currently offering a $100 bonus for punters in the Michigan area who sign up before January 4, 2021.

Shared Liquidity

Shared liquidity is a highly-debated topic at the moment as the first virtual hands go live in January 2021. The board will first have to ensure the games meet their standards before introducing multiple levels of complexity into the equation.

New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada have agreed to share online poker liquidity via the MultiState Internet Gaming Agreement (MIGA). However, the All-American Poker Network is the only poker platform operating across multiple states. WSOP NJ, WSOP NV, and WSOP.com are the three most-prominent platforms in the network. Besides Michigan, Pennsylvania is slated to join MIGA.


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