Most Michigan tribal casinos to remain open despite government shut down order

Earlier this week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced a three-week shut down to try and get the number of positive coronavirus cases to slow down. Restrictions include the closure of the commercial casinos in Detroit. While there are only three commercial venues in the state, there are several tribal casinos, all of which are not subject to government orders. With the new shutdown restrictions, only six of the tribal casinos have decided to close. This leaves 18 remaining open, all of which ready to provide services with COVID-19 precautions in place.

Tribal Casino Closures

One of the tribal casinos that shut down is the Bay Mill 7BALL s Resorts and Casino, located in Brimley. This venue is operated by the Bay Mills Indian Community and shut down on Wednesday, mid-day. The casino will not reopen until December 8, which is when the state’s new restrictions are set to end.

The tribe made an effort to be ready in case of another shutdown and set aside funding from the CARES act to help with employee payments.

Five Kewadin Casinos closed as well, shutting down services for three weeks. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians operate these casinos, and they too closed at noon Wednesday. This set of casinos will not reopen until December 9.

Casinos operated by the tribe include the Kewadin Casino Christmas, Kewadin Casino Hessel, Kewadin Casino Manistique, Kewadin Casino St. Ignace, and the Kewadin Casino Sault Ste.

Staying Open

Other tribal operators in the state have elected to stay open. The Island Resort and Casino operated by the Hannahville Indian Community will stay open. However, entertainment events of the facility were canceled. The Little River Casino, operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, has updated hours through December 8, opening at 8 am and closing at 10 pm. The casino will also be restricted to 25% capacity over the next three weeks.

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For the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, their casino hours have been reduced. The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is keeping its Soaring Eagle Casino Resort open and will continue to have health and safety protocols in place.