Sault Tribe is ninth in Michigan to close casinos for coronavirus

Mar 17, 2020

Update 03/20/2020: All tribal governments in Michigan have closed their casinos in response to coronavirus.

IPR is compiling a list of coronavirus response actions and closures by tribal governments in Michigan — you can find it here.

Ten of 12 tribal governments in the State of Michigan have closed or will close their casinos in response to coronavirus. 

The largest tribe east of the Mississippi River, the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, decided that it will close its casinos by March 22, according to Tribal Chairman Aaron Payment.

Payment said this in a statement to IPR:

"I am grateful that the Tribal Board of Directors and our Gaming Authority voted to declare a State of Emergency and move to essential team members only for work and a closure of our casinos during the State of Emergency".

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to close casinos doesn’t apply to sovereign tribal nations.

Still, tribes are voluntarily closing more than a dozen casinos, including Kewadin Casinos, FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, and all locations of Four Winds Casino.