Detroit Casino Revenue Flat In Second Quarter

It's been a sluggish year for the mature Detroit casino market, according to the latest figures from state gaming regulators.
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On Tuesday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board reported that the three Detroit commercial casinos won $117.5 mm from customers in June, down 1.4% compared to June 2018.

The revenue was a 6.6% month-over-month drop, the MGCB said. According to the state figures, the casinos won $368.4 mm combined from gamblers in the second quarter of 2019 (April, May, and June), up a mere 0.2% over the same period last year. First quarter combined aggregate revenue of $367 mm was a 1.9% gain from the same period last year.

In 2018, the Detroit casino market saw an all-time high $1.44 billion in gaming revenue, but it was up a very modest 1.4% compared to the previous high set in 2011.

June numbers

MotorCity Casino was the only casino to report an upswing in June. The casino won $39.9 mm from its slot machines and table games during June, up 0.7% year-over-year.

Both MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown Casino experienced revenue declines in June. MGM revenue fell 2.2% to $50.7 mm, and Greektown revenue dropped 2.8% to $26.9 mm.

Per the MGCB, market shares during June were:

  • MGM: 43%
  • MotorCity: 34%
  • Greektown: 23%

Taxes on gaming revenue

Based on June revenue, the three Detroit casinos paid $9.5 mm in gaming taxes to the state of Michigan, down from $9.6 mm last year.

Quarterly state gaming taxes were $29.84 mm, up from $29.79 mm for the second quarter of 2018.

The casinos paid $14 mm to Detroit during June.

Online casino gaming still up for debate

Michigan lawmakers are still working on an online casino bill, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer has not yet endorsed. Negotiations are ongoing to find compromise with the governor on the tax rate.

A draft sports betting bill has also been unveiled ahead of the legislation’s official introduction, potentially later this month. The sports betting bill is on its seventh version.

The performance of the Detroit casino market so far this year indicates that the casinos could use additional gambling offerings in order to grow the market. Under the plan for both sports betting and online gambling, the state’s tribal casinos could also add new gambling options.

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