Retail Casinos Bring Back Both Buffets and Indoor Smoking Areas in Michigan



  • During the COVID-19 pandemic casinos were forced to shut down buffets and smoking areas.
  • With the global health crisis now phased out, casinos have begun reintroducing indoor smoking areas and buffet sections.
  • While players are happy with the return of buffets, the opinion on smoking areas is largely divided across the state.

Retail casinos in Michigan have typically offered full-service entertainment to visitors. However, with the pandemic, many were forced to restrict some operations, including shutting down smoking areas and buffet dining. Months after lockdowns were eased and casinos became fully open, these gambling sites did not make appropriate adjustments until January 2023.

As it stands, many casinos that previously had buffet dining options and smoking areas have now reopened them. But these decisions do not sit well with every player and stakeholder in the Wolverine state. Here are some of the casinos that have reintroduced these offerings.

Michigan Casinos With Buffet Dining Options Open

Most retail casinos in Michigan have some form of dining option or another, with the most common being buffets. Those casinos that do not have buffets have at least a restaurant or more, offering diverse cuisine to gamblers as they play.

Below is a list of 17 retail casinos and the dining options available.

Hollywood Casino at Greektown

Monroe Market, Prism, Rock Bar and Urban Cocktail are the dining options available at Hollywood Casino at Greektown. Unfortunately, it does not offer a buffet.

Little River Casino Resort

This casino has a buffet option through its Big Lake Buffet open three days a week.

Bay Mills Resort & Casino

There is no buffet option at this casino. Instead, you get to enjoy a la carte menu at its Sacy’s Restaurant.

MotorCity Casino

Of course, MotorCity has a buffet. The casino building houses the Assembly Line Buffet which opens every day from 5pm to 10pm.

MGM Grand Detroit

Palette Dining Studio used to be the buffet option at MGM Grand Detroit. But the store was closed in March 2022 to give room to Detroit Central Market.

Turtle Creek Casino

Like MGM Grand Detroit, Seasons Buffet that once operated at Turtle Creek Casino no longer operates.

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge

Big Dex’s Restaurant is the only dining option here and there’s no buffet menu available.

Island Resort & Casino

Island Resort only has buffet options on special days like Super Bowl. It also has a steakhouse and bar.

Gun Lake Casino

The Harvest Buffet is now open at Gun Lake Casino. It offers lunch and dinner buffets from Thursdays to Sundays.

Four Winds Casino

This casino recently reopened its buffet at its retail casino in New Buffalo. You can expect newly introduced Asian and Italian dining options.

Odawa Casino

None of the Odawa retail casino locations have a buffet option. However, they do have other dining offers.

Kewadin Casinos

Despite having five locations in the state, none of them offer buffet dining. There are restaurants and bars in all of them, regardless.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel

Although FireKeepers operated a Mijem Buffet before the pandemic, the section is closed and there have been no plans to reopen it.

Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort

Just like FireKeepers, the Aurora Buffet at Soaring Eagle remains closed with no imminent plans to open.

Northern Waters Casino

The NW Café and Sports Bar are the only dining options at Northern Waters. There is no buffet at the casino yet.

Saganing Eagles Landing Casino

There is no buffet dining offering at Saganing Eagles Landing casino.

Ojibwa Casinos

None of the Ojibwa Casino locations have a buffet, but like other sites in Michigan, they have bars and restaurant dining options for players.

Casinos Bringing Back Indoor Smoking Areas in Michigan

Several casinos have also reintroduced indoor smoking areas. Although smoking in public places is prohibited by Michigan law, most casinos are an exception. Hollywood Casino at Greektown and MGM Grand Detroit were the first casinos in the state to reopen their indoor smoking rooms.

Gun Lake Casino and Little River Casino joined recently, permitting indoor smoking for players in their designated areas. No doubt, this has caused many gamblers to rejoice at the thought of not stepping outside gaming floors to smoke. However, non-smokers consider this development a threat to their health.

What Michigan Players Think About the Reintroduction of Indoor Smoking Areas

Players at MGM Grand Detroit and Hollywood Casino at Greektown have taken to social media to express their feelings about the reintroduction of smoking areas. One Twitter user replied to an MGM account for online casinos saying “please make more of your casinos non smoking.”

Another user said “the cigarette smoking everywhere is disgusting. Having to pass through the casino just to get to your room is absurd.” Most comments have come from What Happens at the Casino Stays at the Casino, a Michigan-based Facebook group. Several players took turns to show their displeasure, including smoking players. On the other hand, some smokers couldn’t care less, welcoming the development as a win for them.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments