Michigan Sportsbooks Generate $100K In Revenue Before Casino Closures


As expected, Michigan’s three Detroit-based casinos took a sizable hit in revenues in March as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic took on a larger scale and put a damper on legal sports betting being offered for the first time.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board released the figures Tuesday, showing substantial year-over-year downswings on quarterly revenues and March monthly revenues compared to 2019 at MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and the Greektown Casino. The three casinos reported $299.2 million in revenues for the first three months of the year, a decline of 18.5% compared to the $367 million generated in 2019.

That resulted in less tax revenues for both Detroit and the state, with the former receiving $35.6 million and the latter $29.7 million for the first quarter.

The MGM Grand Detroit took the biggest hits both quarterly and monthly, slipping 19.7% to $126.5 million in the first quarter and 59.6% to $23.9 million for the month of March. MotorCity Casino’s quarterly revenue dipped 18% to $102.6 million, while Greektown Casino saw its revenue in the first three months fall off year-over-year 16.7% to $70.1 million. Both MotorCity and Greektown had March revenues plummet 58.7% from 2019, with MotorCity generating $20.3 million and Greektown $13.2 million.

Sports betting generates $100,000 in revenue

Michigan became the 16th state to accept wagers on sports events when both MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown Casino opened their sportsbooks March 11. Almost immediately thereafter, sports leagues began cancelling events, and the three casinos were forced to close March 16 by state order due to COVID-19.

In that five-day span, the MGCB reported adjusted gross sports wagering receipts of $105,548, which resulted in $3,990 in taxes for the state of Michigan and $4,876 for the city of Detroit. MGM Grand Detroit generated the bulk with $84,695, while Greektown Casino reported $15,904. MotorCity Casino, which opened a day later after announcing a deal with FanDuel, checked in with $4,949.

Michigan has an 8.4% tax on adjusted gross receipts for sports betting, and the three Detroit casinos pay an additional 1.25% tax to the city.

State regulators didn’t provide a handle, but if the books had a win percentage of around 6% (based on historical data in other states), that would mean more than $1.6 million in bets were taken.

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Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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