Detroit Casinos Showing A Positive Year-Over-Year Revenue Trend

Written By Kim Yuhl on October 17, 2018

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) released the latest revenue figures for Detroit, Michigan‘s three commercial casinos.

Overall, the casinos show an increase in year-over-year revenue but show a decline in the month-over-month figures.

The combined casino revenue for September was $115.2 million, the lowest monthly figure since February 2018.

That figure represents a 4.4 percent decrease when compared to August 2018 and 1.4 percent increase when compared to September 2017.

Looking at year-to-date figures, while the trend line for 2018 is flat, it is an improvement over the slight declining trend line for 2017.

September Detroit casino revenue summary

Every month, the MGCB collects data from Detroit’s three casinos:

  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • MotorCity Casino Hotel
  • Greektown Casino Hotel

It should be no surprise that MGM continues to dominate the Detroit casino market.

MGM and MotorCity posted year-over-year percentage increases–3.5 percent and 1 percent–respectively. Greektown, however, found itself in negative territory with nearly 2 percent decline.

MGM posted nearly $50 million in revenue for the month. That number represents a 5.7 percent decrease compared to August.

MotorCity Casino brought in $39 million in September, which represents a decrease of 2.5 percent compared to last month.

Greektown Casino Hotel registered a revenue figure of $27 million for a 4.5 percent decrease over August.

Notice all three casinos lost some ground when comparing August to September. After a record-breaking March, the casinos haven’t had much to write home about besides incremental increases.

MGM is still showing a solidly positive trend line, while MotorCity and Greektown remain relatively flat.

Market share remains unchanged, with MGM finding itself with nearly half of the market. MotorCity and Greektown must fight for the rest.

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Tribal and commercial casinos paying it forward

The commercial casinos report monthly on the taxes they pay into the state and Detroit government coffers. Last month combined, the casinos paid $9.3 million in taxes to the state and $14.2 million to the city of Detroit.

The tribal casinos operate a bit differently. The states’ 12 tribes, as part of their compact, make payments to local governments and revenue sharing boards in Michigan.

Those figures are reported yearly and reflect an amount that equates to 2 percent of slot machine revenue.

For the year ending 2017, tribal casinos made payments of $30 million. The tribes reported that revenue sharing grew by 2 percent from the fiscal year 2016.

By comparison, the commercial casinos made payments of $291 million, or 24 percent of its revenue in 2017. That figure represents a 1 percent increase over its 2016 tax payment.

The year-over-year growth percentages aren’t huge, but they are important as online gambling and sports betting discussions begin to heat up at the state level.

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Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at

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