Detroit Casino Revenue Down to $76 Million After 19 Days of Picketing in November

Jessica Aletor
By:
Jessica Aletor
15/12/2023/
Industry
Michigan Casino News

Highlights

  • Detroit retail casinos posted a monthly revenue of $76 million in November, its lowest full month total in over 22 years.
  • According to data from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, November’s revenue was almost a 24% decline from last year and about 7% lower than October 2023.
  • MGM Grand Detroit remained the most hit financially by the Detroit casino workers strike, recording $30.6 million in the month.

The Detroit casino workers’ strike lasted the longest in November, spreading across a total of 19 full days in the month. It is therefore no surprise that the attendant financial setback is relatively more intense. According to data released by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), November turned out to be the worst month in recent times for retail casinos in Detroit.  

Hollywood Casino at Greektown, MotorCity Casino and MGM Grand Detroit combined to generate $76 million in the month, the lowest full month total since February 2001. This is not counting months in the pandemic where Detroit casinos were closed for several days.

Revenue From Detroit Casinos About 30% Lower Than 2024 Monthly Average 

Despite the apparently bad financial posture that November’s revenue placed Detroit retail casinos, it’s nowhere as worse as many projected it to be. In October 2023, all three Detroit casinos posted a revenue of $81.7 million from slots and table games, which when compared to November’s figures is only $5.7 million or 6.9% lower. This was quite expected considering that the strike affected only 15 days in October as against 19 days in November.

However, revenue plummeted 23.9% year-on-year versus November 2022’s $99.9 million in adjusted gross revenue. As earlier stated, this is the lowest Detroit casino monthly revenues have gone since February 2001, over 22 years ago, when the three casinos generated $75.7 million. This gets even more interesting, considering that the Detroit retail casino industry is only 23 years old after opening for its first full month in December 2000.

Judging by the cumulative revenue total recorded by the casinos between January and September, the average monthly revenue for the year 2023 stood at $105.9 million. In view of November's statistics, Detroit casinos saw a 28.2% decline from this average revenue. As a result, the year-to-date gaming revenue for Detroit casinos currently total $1.11 billion, a 3.2% drop compared to figures from the same period in 2022.

MGM Grand Detroit Was Worst Hit Casino Financially in November 

Similar to what happened in October, MGM Grand Detroit was the biggest loser from the financial impact of the strike. Unlike Hollywood Casino at Greektown and MotorCity Casino, the strike didn’t end at MGM Grand Detroit on Nov. 19 but lingered till early in December.

With about 11 full days of gaming action, MotorCity Casino generated $24.7 million while Hollywood Casino at Greektown managed to pool in $20.7 million. Prior to October, MotorCity Casino had an average monthly revenue of $32.1 million, meaning that its November figures was a 23.1% decrease. On the other hand, Hollywood Casino at Greektown saw a mild 14.8% drop from its monthly average revenue of $24.3 million.

MGM Grand Detroit recorded a revenue of $30.6 million, an unfortunate 38.2% plunge from the average monthly revenue of $49.5 million. Nevertheless, it still grossed as the highest earner among its counterparts in Detroit. Besides, the company is almost guaranteed to recoup its losses through BetMGM Casino MI, which has the largest iGaming market share in the state.

Retail Sports Betting Revenue in November Hit a Surprising Yearly High 

Despite the subpar performance from a gaming revenue perspective, retail sports betting pulled its weight in November. All three casinos combined to accept a total of $15.3 million in wagers, a relatively low amount compared to October 2023 and November 2022. In both months, Detroit casinos reported a handle of $18.1 million, which is about 15.5% higher than its most recent betting handle in November.

Total betting handle year-to-date is currently at $151.3 million, 38.9% lower than the $247.7 million. On the bright side, the retail sportsbooks had a hold of 20.3% in the past month, essentially leading to a revenue of $3.1 million. This marks the highest revenue total in 2023 as well as the most revenue generated from sports betting in Detroit since November 2021. MotorCity was the leading sportsbook with a betting handle of $8 million and grossing $2.2 million in revenue.

Combined revenue for November stands at $79.1 million, bringing year-to-date total revenue to $1.12 billion. As it stands, Detroit may end the year short of 2022’s combined annual revenue of $1.28 billion. Michigan received $6.2 million in taxes from November’s gaming revenue while the city of Detroit claimed $9.4 million in taxes.

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