Detroit Casinos Generate $82.8M in October, Hits Lowest Monthly Revenue in 4 Years

Jessica Aletor
By:
Jessica Aletor
20/11/2023/
Industry
Michigan Casino News

Highlights

  • Detroit casinos recorded $81.7 million worth of revenue from slots and table games in October. It generated an additional $1.1 million from retail sports betting.
  • The revenue figures for Detroit casinos in October are the lowest tally recorded since December 2020 and represent a 20% year-over-year decline.
  • Sports betting handle also declined by up to 23%, despite October marking a peak period in the NFL season.

October has indeed been a month to forget for Detroit casinos. Not only did the month usher in the ongoing workers’ strike, but as a consequence of the picketing, Detroit casinos ended October with their lowest revenue tally in years. The strike which started on October 17, saw 3700 members of the Detroit Casino Council and other groups momentarily leave their jobs in quest for better pay and healthcare.

With all three of Detroit casinos working at less-than-full capacity, the huge revenue decline was practically inevitable. Our prediction of a daily loss of about $1.5 million came true as the casinos tumbled about 20% from its October 2022 revenue.

Detroit Casinos Pool $81.7 Million From Slots and Table Games

The combination of MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown could only generate $81.7 million from slots and table games in October. Besides being the lowest AGR gained throughout the year, it also marked an 18.9% decline from October 2022. From a month-on-month perspective, October’s monthly revenue was also 18.3% less than what the city recorded in September 2023.

December 2020 was the last time Detroit casinos reported revenue levels this low, no thanks to the pandemic which caused gaming floors to be closed for most of the month. If pandemic years were excluded, the revenue would be the lowest Detroit has seen since July 2001 when its three casinos generated $81.5 million.

Although the trio of Detroit casinos were able to cross $1 billion in revenue from January to October, the most recent monthly revenue ensured this year’s total stayed 1.3% below the cumulative revenue for the same period in 2022. Hollywood Casino at Greektown was the only casino with gains on a year-to-date comparison with 2022, bringing Detroit’s tally to $1.035 billion.

Sports Betting Dips 46.3% From October 2022 Despite NFL Season

The total gross receipts generated from the three Detroit casinos came to $82.8 million, including $1.1 million revenue from retail sports betting. Despite the NFL season in its second month and impressive performances from the Michigan Wolverines, sports betting handle was just $18.1 million in October. This is 23% lower than October last year.

With a revenue of $1.1 million, Detroit casinos were down 46.3% from October 2022 and 28.6% from September 2023. MotorCity, the retail casino partner of FanDuel Sportsbook MI generated the largest chunk of this sector with $669,028. Thanks to this figure It was able to bounce back from the losses it previously recorded in the year.

Betting handle from January to October reduced by 40.8% compared to the same period in last year. This month marked the lowest handle recorded in any October since retail sports betting was legalized in the state.

Gambling Tax Revenue Drop by $3.9 Million in October

From all indicators, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity appear most hit by the revenue impact of the strike. Before October, all three Detroit casinos were averaging a cumulative monthly revenue of $100-105 million. Individually, the three casinos experienced a drop of about 20% from this average monthly revenue calculated from January to September.

MGM Grand Detroit, for example, had an average revenue of $49.5 million calculated through the first nine months of 2023. MotorCity and Hollywood Casino averaged $32.1 million and $24.3 million, respectively.

However, in October, MGM Grand Detroit generated $37.3 million, some 24.6% drop from its monthly average throughout the first nine months of the year. This figure was also 19.6% lower than October 2022 and 16.6% down from September. As of October last year, MGM Grand Detroit had crossed the $500 million milestone, but currently, it sits at $482.8 million, a difference of 3.9%.

MotorCity Casino also ended October with $25 million which is 22.1% less than its calculated average and another 22.8% lower from a year-over-year standpoint. The month also ended a 19-month long streak where MotorCity generated at least $30 million monthly.

While Hollywood Casino dipped 20.2% from its average to report $19.4 million in gross receipts, it only slightly declined by 11.7% from October 2022.

The decline in gross receipts also led to an attendant reduction in tax revenue. All three casinos generated $6.6 million in tax revenue to the state of Michigan and paid $10.1 million in taxes to city authorities. Cumulatively, the tax revenue for October was a 19% decline from October 2022.

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