COVID-19

Michigan’s tribal casinos reopening without governor’s approval

Tribal casinos closed voluntarily and plan to reopen during stay-at-home orders.

Seven casinos in Michigan plan to reopen this weekend despite the state’s stay-at-home orders.

The casinos, including Firekeepers Casino and Hotel near Battle Creek, are owned by Michigan tribal governments. They aren’t bound by the state orders because they are considered sovereign nations by the federal government.

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The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi, which owns Firekeepers, said the closure has hurt the tribe’s ability to provide basic services, such as public safety and education.

They plan to take precautions to ensure the health and safety of people visiting their casino and hotel.

“We believe the state’s efforts to flatten the curve are working and have worked,” said chairperson Jamie Stuck in an article in Bridge Magazine. “We have positioned ourselves to safely open and welcome our guests’ return.”

State officials recognize they have no authority over the casinos, but say they’re helping to ensure the casinos operate with safety in mind.

“We continue to work with tribal leaders to share information about safety protocols to provide the maximum protection possible for Michigan residents,” said Tiffany Brown, a spokesperson for Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

You can read the full story here.

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