Detroit Retail Sports Betting Further Declines Despite Record Retail Casino Revenue

Jessica Aletor
By:
Jessica Aletor
26/08/2023/
News
Brown Basketball Ball on The Floor

Highlights

  • Sports betting handle at Detroit sportsbooks for the month of July crashed to less than $8 million, over $10 million less than in July 2022.
  • MotorCity retail sportsbook ended July negative, doing so for the third month this year and dragging Detroit retail sportsbooks to a revenue of $485K.
  • Slots and table games improved, showing indicators of going back to pre-pandemic levels with a combined $106.7 million revenue.

Retail sportsbooks in Detroit have experienced back-to-back losses in the past three months without showing signs of a positive rebound. On the other hand, revenue from table games and slots has seen a massive improvement. With projections from the latter, Detroit retail casinos may well be on course for their best annual outing since 2019.

Notably, there have been several standouts, both for retail casinos and for sportsbooks. For instance, MGM Grand Detroit’s operations remain the largest contributor to gaming revenue in the city and Michigan as a whole. However, with sportsbooks, high-earning retail sportsbooks do not seem to help the overall outlook, especially with operators like MotorCity constantly ending months in the red. 

MotorCity Casino Records Negative $40K Revenue in July 2024

FanDuel Sportsbook, run by MotorCity Casino in Detroit, continued its trend of negative monthly revenues in July. It ended the month in the red with –$40,723, paying more to bettors than it received in wagers. This marks the third month that MotorCity ran at a loss, and the second consecutive month since that huge $970K win in June.

Unfortunately, MotorCity’s bad revenue numbers would go on to hurt all other sportsbooks. Together, the three Detroit retail sportsbooks earned $485,763. Although this figure is significantly better than the overall negative $395K from June, it’s still a far cry from Detroit’s best.

Sports betting handle wasn’t any better. The three sportsbooks combined for a handle of about $7.95 million in July. This was not only less than June but was over $10 million lower on a year-over-year comparison to July 2022.

Despite news about the potential exit of Barstool Online Sportsbook from Michigan, the retail bookmaker has been doing quite well, relative to the industry. Barstool at Hollywood Casino handled $3.3 million in July, gaining $397K revenue in the process. MotorCity handled more bets ($2.45 million) than MGM Grand ($2.2 million), with the latter going on to earn $121K worth of revenue. 

MGM Grand Detroit Contributes $50 Million to Detroit Combined Revenue

Another fine month for MGM Grand Detroit came to an end in July as the casino pooled $50 million in revenue, accounting for 47% of the total market share. Unfortunately, it fell 2.4% from the revenue it posted in July 2022.  Nevertheless, this figure was enough for the retail casino to outpace both MotorCity and Hollywood Casino at Greektown.

MotorCity managed to come in behind MGM Grand with a revenue of $31.4 million and 29% of the market share. On the other hand, Hollywood Casino at Greektown could only manage $25.3 million. Despite being the last of the pack, it could still lay claim to some progress as its July 2023 revenue was 27.5% higher than last year’s. For MotorCity, its $31.4 million was a 10% year-over-year decline from July 2022.

Three Retail Casinos on Course for Over $1 Billion Revenue by End of Year

All three retail casinos generated $106.7 million in revenue from slots and table games operations throughout the month of July. Adding sports betting brings the aggregate revenue to $107.2 million. Year to date, Detroit casinos have combined for $749 million in total revenue. Compared to the same period in 2021, this year witnessed a $28 million increase while on a year-over-year basis from 2022, the growth spans more than $6 million.

In view of this revenue growth, there are no doubts that Detroit retail casinos may well be on pace for the best year since pre-pandemic periods. At the current rate, all three casinos may generate up to $1.28 billion in total revenue by the end of the year. This would be significantly greater than both 2021 and 2022, but still less than the record $1.45 billion recorded in 2019.

The contribution of Detroit casinos to gambling in Michigan cannot be overemphasized. And with table games and slots gaining the most revenue, online casinos may also be on for a great month. Unfortunately, the same may not be said for Michigan sports betting operators after the constant horrible show at MotorCity. 

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, casino.zone and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments