Detroit’s three casinos came within $8,615 of $100 million in adjusted gross revenue for September, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, ending a nine-month streak of nine-figure totals.
The figures released Friday continued a year-long trend in which only Greektown Casino is outperforming its 2022 numbers. The combined winnings from the trio of casinos were down 0.8% versus September of last year and marked the first sub-$100 million total since finishing $76,000 shy of the benchmark last November.
Gross revenue from retail sports wagering totaled $1.6 million, down 38.5% compared to last year. That decline can be attributed more to operator performance than lack of handle, as the $18.1 million in accepted wagers was a modest 2.7% decline versus September 2022. The near-9% hold for this September was 5.2 percentage points lower than the 14.2% mark attained in 2022.
The state received $8.1 million in tax receipts from casino revenue, lifting the total for the year to $77.2 million. That is about $460,000 ahead of the amount collected for the first nine months of 2022.
The city of Detroit saw an inflow of more than $12.3 million into its coffers in September, increasing the amount for 2023 to $122 million. That is an increase of $4.6 million for the same period compared to last year.
Greektown maintains double-digit growth versus 2022
Greektown reported $24.3 million in casino revenue for September, up 15.1% compared to last year. The PENN Entertainment venue cleared $20 million in winnings for the 14th consecutive month, and its $219 million in year-to-date revenue is a 14.7% increase versus the first three quarters of 2022.
It remains the only casino in Detroit to have overall year-over-year growth, and its third quarter revenue haul of $74 million was a 16.9% improvement compared to the same three-month period last year.
Greektown’s sportsbook had a strong bounce-back from August, posting a 10.2% hold to claim $656,000 from $6.4 million handle. The book, which is transitioning to the ESPN BET brand, had a 0.9% win rate in August. Year-over-year handle in September declined 27.3%, but revenue slipped only 14.7% thanks to the strong hold.
MGM Grand slogs through September
Still the bellcow of Detroit casino revenue, MGM Grand had the steepest year-over-year decline of the trio. Its $44.7 million in winnings was a 7.6% dip against September 2022, and the $3.7 million drop in revenue stretched the overall year-over-year decline to 2.2%.
MGM Grand has claimed $445.7 million in revenue through the opening nine months of the year, $10.2 million off last year’s pace. The sharp drop in September resulted in a third-quarter decline of 3.8% to $144.2 million, $5.7 million lower versus the same period in 2022.
Its BetMGM-powered sportsbook also had a rough September, finishing with a 0.8% hold in keeping a meager $43,658 from over $5.5 million worth of accepted wagers. That was a dramatic fall-off from September 2022, which was the last time the brick-and-mortar venue cleared $1 million in winnings on the strength of a 17.8% hold from $5.7 million handle.
MotorCity sportsbook nearly break-even for 2023
The big news from MotorCity Casino in September was a strong performance from its FanDuel-powered sportsbook that nearly wiped out its deficit for 2023. The in-person venue crafted a year-best 15% hold for the month in winning $920,000 from $6.1 million worth of wagers.
That left MotorCity $61,000 in the red for the nine months of betting this year on $34.2 million handle. It was also the only sportsbook of the three to have a year-over-year increase in handle for September, surging 50.6% higher versus 2022.
Casino revenue, however, ticked 1% down compared to 2022 to $31 million. That lessened the third-quarter decline versus last year to 5.5% as MotorCity claimed $93.1 million in revenue the past three months. For the year, casino revenue there is down almost 4% to $289.2 million.
Retail sports betting figures still way down versus 2022
Despite the retail sportsbooks keeping handle close to flat in September, MotorCity’s challenge in getting back to even has put a drag on year-over-year revenue figures. The three Detroit sportsbooks have combined for barely more than $5 million in winnings, 62.5% lower versus the first nine months of 2022.
Handle is down 42.8% to $117.9 million, which is $88 million lower. The combined 4.3% hold is 2.2 percentage points lower versus the opening three quarters of last year.
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