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One Massive Payout Leaves MotorCity Sportsbook In The Red Again In June

Handle at Detroit’s retail sportsbooks is down 48% compared to the first six months of last year




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MotorCity Casino’s retail sportsbook finished in the red in June for the second time in three months, thanks in large part to the FanDuel-powered venue paying out a single bettor $972,000.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board released June figures for Detroit’s three casinos, and overall, MotorCity paid out $691,118 on top of its $2.1 million in accepted bets. It was the second-largest monthly loss for MotorCity — and for any of the city’s three brick-and-mortar sportsbooks since launching in March 2020 — behind the $1.7 million loss in April suffered in part because of UConn winning the NCAA Tournament.

MotorCity’s sportsbook finished the first half of 2023 down nearly $1.2 million on $22.8 million handle, operating with a minus-5.1% hold. The book had a 10.9% win rate last year, claiming $5.8 million in gross winnings from $53 million worth of accepted bets.

Overall, the MGCB reported $101.9 million in casino games revenue outside of sports wagering, up 3.8% from June 2022 but down 2.7% compared to May. Hollywood Greektown was the only venue of the trio to post a year-over-year gain, though decreases by MGM Grand and MotorCity were relatively light.

The three casinos generated $642.4 million in revenue for the first half of 2023, up 0.9% compared to the first six months of last year. The state has received $52 million in casino gaming taxes, less than $500,000 ahead of last year’s pace, while the inflow of $80.4 million into Detroit coffers is $4.7 million more than the comparable period in 2022.

Greektown continues to do strong business

Though the smallest of Detroit’s three casinos in terms of total revenue, Hollywood Greektown is having the best year of the threesome when it comes to year-over-year comparisons. June’s revenue of $22.4 million at the PENN Entertainment venue was up 36.8% compared to 2022, and the $145.1 million in overall casino revenue thus far represented a 13.1% increase from last year’s $128.3 million.

MGM Grand continued to dominate market share for revenue, landing at 46% for June, but the $47 million in winnings was down 2.7% versus last June. It narrowly cleared $300 million in revenue for the first half of 2023, while its total year-to-date haul is down 1.5% compared to 2022.

MotorCity had the steepest drops in both year-over-year and year-to-date revenue totals. Its $32.5 million in revenue for June was 3% off last year’s amount, while the $196.1 million in total gaming revenue from January through June is 3.2% lower than last year.

In terms of actual dollars, Greektown is $16.8 million ahead of its pace from last year, more than covering the combined decline of $11.2 million from MGM Grand and MotorCity.

Also a good month for Barstool Sportsbook

Greektown’s retail sportsbook paced the trio of in-person betting locales with $283,000 in gross revenue, fashioning a hold of close to 8.7% on $3.3 million handle. Barstool Sportsbook is lapping FanDuel and BetMGM when it comes to retail revenue this year, with the $2.7 million accrued more than double MGM Grand’s brick-and-mortar book.

While MotorCity’s two big monthly losses have it facing an uphill task to break even by year’s end, MGM Grand had an uneven performance against the public the first six months. Bettors limited the book to a 1.1% hold in June, resulting in less than $30,000 gross revenue from $2.8 million in accepted bets. It was the third time this year MGM Grand’s monthly hold was under 1.5%, and its $1 million in gross revenue year-to-date is 31% lower than the comparable period in 2022.

It was a rough six months overall for Detroit’s retail sportsbooks. Year-to-date handle has plummeted 48.1% to $81.8 million, versus $157.5 million from 2022.

That, along with improved bettor performances, has put a drag on revenue. The $2.6 million in gross revenue is 66.9% off versus the first six months of last year. The 3.2% hold at the brick-and-mortar venues is down 1.8 percentage points for the comparable period and falls far below the 9.4% win rate mobile operators have attained in the first five months of wagering in the state.

Photo: Getty Images