Casinos all around the world have been battered by COVID-19, with virtually all casinos forced to close their doors at some point over the course of the year.
Casinos in Detroit were some of the last to reopen their doors, but once more Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has asked them to shut their doors.
The initial period is for 3 weeks, but the request could be extended at any given time, depending on how the COVID-19 outbreak in the city pans out.
Here Comes COVID
As fall and winter start to roll in across the USA, COVID-19 infection rates are increasing at a worrying rate.
In a bid to help curb the spread, Detroit has been forced by Whitmer to shut down its three casinos.
There are 24 tribal casinos, none of which are legally obliged to follow the ruling to shut their doors.
However, if the previous shuttering of casinos is anything to go by, these tribal casinos will likely follow suit until the infection rate drops in their reservation.
Under the new rules, retail outlets, libraries and museums can open their doors, but they have to limit customers at a 30% capacity.
As for professional and college sports, they’re allowed to continue operating behind closed doors, providing that they meet the player safety requirements.
Can Online Casinos Step Up?
Operating an online casino in the US is a little more complicated than it is elsewhere in the world, with operators requiring a license in each state they wish to operate in.
Michigan gave online casinos and sports books the green light back in 2019, but the final legislature has yet to pass.
This means there are no valid licenses for establishments to offer online casino and sportsbook to punters in Michigan.
But, that doesn’t mean Michigan citizens cannot gain access to online gambling sites.
Thanks to the help of cryptocurrencies and VPNs, Michigan citizens can access various international gambling sites.
However, this is against the law and if the casino or sportsbook discovers that a player has done this, then their account will be closed down and all funds confiscated – so do so at your own risk.
There are a couple of online firms waiting for operating licenses, and they’re giving users up to $200 in early registration free bets. These bets can then be used on the platform, but once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Will Vegas Follow Suit?
Las Vegas is struggling with player numbers at the moment, and current numbers are incredibly low.
Casinos are barely breaking even, and with more and more staff being put in the path of COVID, it won’t be long before Vegas follows suit.
According to the Culinary Union, more than 350 members and their family members have tested positive for COVID since casinos reopened, and the number is rising every day.
If there’s even a whiff of further shuttering coming to Vegas, it’s without a doubt the Union will be backing it all the way in order to protect its members.
If casinos are forced to shut their doors in Vegas, we could see widespread layoffs across the city, with far-reaching consequences in other industries that support Vegas’ casino scene.