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Michigan Licensed Beverage Association

Serving Liquor Licensees Since 1939

News / Articles


Mason Doerr  | Published on 5/29/2020

LANSING – MLBA today sent a letter to Governor Whitmer and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel seeking answers regarding the opening of tribal casinos throughout the state and whether or not they will be allowed to furnish alcohol to patrons.

“We asked the governor and attorney general whether or not they will use their authority to enforce the current executive order, that prohibits the sale of alcohol by on-premises licensees, via the tribal compacts,” said MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis. “Those compacts state that casinos shall be treated as any other retail licensee relative to liquor law compliance.”

While casinos reopen, the majority of the 8,500 on-premises licensees throughout the state will remain shuttered or unable to sell alcohol for consumption on their licensed premises.

“We sincerely hope the governor and attorney general will use their authority to establish a fair and level playing field for all businesses in the hospitality industry,” Ellis said. “Every bar, restaurant, brewery, winery, distillery, golf course, hotel and many other small businesses in the industry, will be carefully watching and are waiting for an answer to this question.”

If allowed to sell alcohol for consumption on the licensed premises, the MLBA is also seeking answers as to whether or not the casinos will be allowed to purchase spirits through the State of Michigan and beer/wine through the three-tier system.

“As we have said numerous times, our entire industry is prepared to reopen and we have the knowledge and tools to do it safely and effectively,” Ellis said.