Greektown Casino-Hotel in downtown Detroit is opening its doors to first responders in the city who work during the coronavirus outbreak.
The casino was temporarily shut earlier this month as part of the extraordinary measures invoked by Michigan lawmakers to stem the spread of the dangerous virus that has gripped the world and put more than half of its population in some form of lockdown.
The statewide casino shutdown was originally set to last through today, March 31, but was extended through at least April 13.
And while Greektown will remain closed for guests and casino patrons until at least mid-April, it announced that starting Monday it would open its doors for police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and other first responders who are afraid to go home and risk infecting their loved ones with the coronavirus.
The casino said that it is opening 40 rooms on two floors. Only healthy first responders working during the Covid-19 crisis will be allowed to stay in the available rooms. Guests will have their temperature taken every time they enter or leave Greektown.
First responders will stay at the hotel for free, but they will have to bring their own food as only a limited number of Greektown’s workers will be on duty. The hotel will only provide clean towels and sheets.
Extended Closure and No Paychecks
Greektown is one of Detroit’s three casinos. And the three properties are Michigan’s only commercial casinos. The gambling venues announced that they would stop paying their employees from March 31 and through the entirety of the shutdown period.
All three casinos previously pledged to keep their workers’ paychecks coming until the end of March when they were originally set to reopen. However, with the number of infected individuals growing rapidly nationwide, the eventual reopening of gaming facilities and other businesses deemed non-essential is surrounded by great uncertainty.
Detroit’s three casinos – Greektown, MotorCity, and MGM Grand Detroit – said that while they will cease pay to their workers beyond end of March, they would extend benefits through June 30.
Thousands of workers have been furloughed or laid off across the US as all of the nation’s commercial and most tribal casinos are closed in response to the unfolding coronavirus emergency.
In Detroit, the owners of MotorCity Casino said that they are hopeful the temporary shutdown of the city’s gambling venues will “have a positive impact on stemming the tide of Covid-19.”
The owner of MGM Grand, Las Vegas casino powerhouse MGM Resorts International, is understood to have been in talks with other companies, including Amazon, to provide employees affected by its workforce cuts with temporary employment, while its gambling venues stay shut.