As Michigan Awaits Online Gambling, Detroit Casino Revenues Fall

Detroit’s three casino properties–MGM Grand, Greektown, and MotorCity–reported $50.4 million in aggregate revenue for the month of November, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Table games and slots accounted for $48.1 million of that revenue. Retail sports betting earned $2.3 million. 

The three casinos operated at 15 percent capacity through much November in light of Covid-19 related concerns. However, on November 17 the properties were required to close their doors in compliance with an epidemic order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The order is also being enforced by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. 

Based on revenue, the market share of each casino was;

Table Game And Slots Revenue: 2020 Vs. 2019

Compared to the same period last year, the revenue numbers are predictably bleak. Revenue dropped 61.3 percent from November 2019. 

Even compared to one month earlier, October 2020, November’s revenue took a major hit. The casinos’ November revenue was down 48.7 percent compared to just one month prior. 

January-November 2020 Revenue dropped 54.9 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

No matter how you slice it, Detroit’s casinos are struggling big-time due to the pandemic. Each casino saw significant drops compared to their November 2019 numbers:

  • MGM Grand: dropped 62.1 percent to $20.5 million
  • MotorCity: dropped 57.1 percent to $17.5 million
  • Greektown: dropped 65.7 percent to $10.1 million

Retail Sportsbook Revenue

Total handle among the three Detroit properties hit $25,080,140 in November. Qualified adjusted gross receipts (sports betting receipts minus free play incentives used by bettors) were as follows:

  • MGM, $561,372
  • MotorCity, $1,130,956
  • Greektown, $645,310

Online Gambling Launching in 2021

Michigan’s online casino and sports betting launch is on its way. Operators are likely anxious for these options to go live; online casinos and sports betting provide a glimmer of hope for Michigan properties who are struggling to stay afloat amid rampant shutdowns, closures, and widespread uncertainty. 

The latest estimate for an online betting launch in Michigan is early 2021. Hopes for a 2020 launch were recently dashed. The MGCB’s December 8 meeting to finalize sports betting licenses was moved to January 12, extending the wait for online sportsbooks just a bit longer. 

Once Michigan’s online solutions go live, they could provide some much-needed relief for struggling land-based properties. Expect a bevy of online solutions to flood the Michigan market as soon as operators receive the green light. 

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier.