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Detroit Casinos Post $103 Million In January Revenue

It was a slight increase from 2022, but retail sportsbooks got off to a slow start




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Detroit casino revenue January 2023

The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported Tuesday that Detroit’s three casinos generated $103.4 million in combined adjusted revenue for January, a slight improvement compared to the start of 2022.

The year-over-year increase was 4.4% above the nearly $99 million generated in last year’s first month. January’s revenue was 4.5% lower than the $108.3 million the trio reported in December to close out 2022.

MGM Grand, MotorCity, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown paid nearly $8.4 million in state taxes and an additional $16.3 million to the city of Detroit, the latter the highest monthly tax levy for the city since it collected more than $16.5 million last August.

For the first time in three Januarys since sports wagering was legal in the Wolverine State, retail sportsbooks got off to a slow start as only MotorCity came out ahead versus bettors. Both MGM Grand and Greektown posted five-figure losses, as combined gross revenue totaled less than $150,000 against nearly $15.3 million wagered for a hold just under 1%. The state received $8,940 in tax receipts from sports wagering, while Detroit garnered $10,926.

Detroit venues report month-over-month declines

The big picture for the Detroit casinos is mixed, as the monthly revenue totals were all year-over-year improvements but month-over-month declines. MGM Grand topped $50 million for the second consecutive month, reaching $50.2 million for a 3.2% increase over January 2022. It was 1.5% lower than December’s total of nearly $51 million, with a gap of slightly more than $775,000.

Greektown had the sharpest year-over-year increase at 11.9% to $22.9 million, an increase of nearly $2.4 million versus the first month of last year. It was 5.8% below December’s $24.3 million.

MotorCity Casino had its 11th consecutive month with at least $30 million in revenue, finishing nearly $275,000 above that amount for a 1.3% increase versus January 2022. It had the sharpest fall-off from December, however, down 8.2% from the nearly $33 million to wrap up the year.

Retail sports wagering handle down notably

Despite the Detroit Lions being in playoff contention until the final week of the season, which included two Sundays in January, that did not translate into more people going to retail sportsbooks to place bets. The $15.3 million handle was 57.4% lower compared to the nearly $35.9 million in accepted bets for January 2022, when Greektown Casino alone had more than $20.4 million worth of bets. It was also 5% off December’s handle of nearly $16.1 million.

January was the worst month for revenue since last February, when Super Bowl wagering heavily contributed to a loss of nearly $870,000 in gross revenue. The sub-1% win rate was also the lowest in the last 12 months.

The previous two Januarys, the three retail sportsbooks combined for nearly $6.1 million in gross revenue from $71.5 million handle. Year-over-year gross revenue plummeted 92.4% from the $1.9 million kept by the three books to open last year.

Greektown, the PENN Entertainment venue with sports betting powered by Barstool Sportsbook, finished $62,755 in the red for January on close to $5.9 million handle. It was its second all-time monthly loss in 31 months of wagering, with the other occurring last February when it paid out nearly $300,000 more than the $15.8 million wagered.

MGM Grand finished a close second in handle for January at just shy of $5.7 million as bettors came out $54,479 ahead. It was the third losing month in the last 12 and fourth overall since Michigan launched sports wagering in March 2019. The January win by bettors was the second largest recorded at MGM, trailing only the $176,252 last February.

MotorCity finished with a modest 7.2% hold on $3.7 million wagered, resulting in nearly $267,000 in gross revenue. It ended a run of six consecutive months with a double-digit hold for the FanDuel-powered venue, while the handle was its lightest since accepting $2.4 million in wagers last August.

Fantasy sports has small revenue increase

Fantasy sports generated close to $1.6 million revenue for December, and the $16.8 million generated for the 2022 calendar year was a 4% increase from 2021 despite four operators — most notably Yahoo! — ceasing operations at some point during the year. The state received more than $1.4 million in taxes from fantasy sports, approximately $55,000 more than 2021.

DraftKings accounted for more than half of the December revenue with close to $815,000, while PrizePicks was a close second at nearly $760,000. The month’s total was dragged down by Fantasy Football Players Championship, which reported a loss of more than $330,000.

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