Revenues at Detroit Casinos Up By 9.8% in February, Revealing Upward Trend

Jessica Aletor
Jessica Aletor


  • Detroit casinos have recorded an upward trend in revenue for the first time since June 2022.
  • These retail casinos brought in a total of $105 million in February 2023, indicating a 9.8% rise in revenue.
  • In the same time frame, Detroit retail sportsbooks also saw revenue statistics grow on a year-over-year basis despite lower betting handle.

Detroit casinos can finally heave a huge sigh of relief after the Michigan Gaming Control Board released revenue figures for February 2023. For eight months running, retail casinos in Detroit witnessed a steady decline in financial income. Year-over-year comparisons have also been abysmal. But in February, the casinos pooled $105 million, representing significant increases over figures from January 2023 and February 2022.

At the heart of this financial growth was MGM Grand Detroit which took nearly half the entire market share in Michigan’s largest city. However, retail sportsbooks have not revealed any positive outlooks since the year began.

Retail Casinos Break Financial Underperformance Jinx With Huge Year-Over-Year Boost

Detroit retail casinos amassed $105 million from table games and slots in an unprecedented revenue boost that characterized the month of February. Despite the disadvantage that mostly comes with February’s reduced days and slower gambling activity after the New Year rush dies down, retail casinos in Detroit still managed to pull massive weight.

Compared to January 2023, the retail gambling platform brought in 1.6% more revenue in February. Similarly, they recorded a 9.8% year-over-year increase, marking the first time since April 2022 that Detroit saw a yearly financial boost. From May 2022, the retail casinos would go on to witness consecutive year-over-year revenue declines till January 2023.

MGM Grand Detroit, the operators of BetMGM Online Casino MI were the leading financial contributors to Detroit’s revenue boost. The operator has a 47% market share, pooling a total of $50 million in February. MotorCity and Hollywood Casino were left to grapple with 30% and 23% of the revenue share, respectively. On the bright side for the two operators, though, they saw slightly significant increases from January’s revenues.

In total, Detroit retail casinos paid $12.5 million in overall city wagering tax, while they also contributed $8.5 million in state wagering tax.

Detroit Sportsbooks Fail to Consolidate on Massive Retail Casino Growth

Unfortunately, Detroit sportsbooks did not follow the positive trends noticeable with retail casinos. Although sportsbooks increased in revenue from a year-over-year perspective, other financial metrics saw them fall below expectations. The retail sportsbooks in the city raised a total of $458,752 in revenue, a better outcome than the loss sports betting sites suffered in the same period last year. However, betting handles significantly reduced, especially in comparison to the past year.

In February 2022, Detroit sportsbook saw a growth to approximately $25 million in betting handle. However, in February 2023, the figures were split in half as they recorded only $12.2 million worth of sports betting handle. The handle statistics for last month was one of the lowest since 2020 when the state legalized sports betting. Only December 2020 and August 2022 were worse.

In what appears to be an inverse leaderboard, compared to retail casinos, Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino handled the most bets. FanDuel Sportsbook MI at MotorCity came a close second with $4.1 million as against Barstool’s $4.3 million. BetMGM came behind both with $3.7 million worth of betting handle.

How Ohio Sports Betting May Be Affecting Michigan Handles and Revenue

On January 1, 2023, sports betting became legal in Ohio and the prospects were high that Michigan sportsbooks would suffer, considering that both states bordered one another. However, the impact would not become immediately clear until Ohio recorded a $1.1 billion betting handle in its first month.

In the first month, Ohio already contributed 12% to the total sports betting handle in the entire country. The big question has been: Did Ohio bite into the sports betting share of its neighboring states?

It seems evident that Ohio significantly impacted the sports betting handle share of Michigan and Indiana. Back in 2022, both Michigan and Indiana experienced their highest months on record in January. However, in January 2022, both states recorded a decline in revenue on a year-over-year basis. They also saw their betting handles dip from a monthly and yearly perspective.

How much of that loss went to Ohio will remain unknown for a long time. However, taking a cue from Detroit sportsbooks, it may take a while before Michigan sports betting operators catch up and retake their place as one of the top states for sports betting.

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