Still Closed, Detroit Casinos Report 51.6% Revenue Slide

Written By Matt Schoch on June 9, 2020

The absence of numbers for May and the ugly year-over-year totals are in for the closed Detroit casinos.

Greektown Casino-Hotel, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino had no revenue for the second straight full month. In addition, aggregate revenue was down 51.6% from last year at this time.

After a hopeful tone at its regular meeting on Monday morning, the Michigan Gaming Control Board released those figures. The three top managers of Detroit’s casinos detailed safety plans and emphasized the need to reopen the casinos soon.

“I think we’re all waiting for the opportunity to see the doors reopen because it’s such an important part of the fabric inside the city of Detroit,” board chair Robert Anthony said after Detroit’s casino executives talked about safety guidelines to reopen.

Aggregate revenue way down in 2020

Detroit’s three commercial casinos have been closed since March 16, five days after the launch of Michigan sports betting. As of May 31, it’s been 76 days since a legal bet was placed in the city.

The totals reflect that tough reality.

Through May, Detroit casino aggregate revenue was down to $299.2 million from $617.9 million in the same five-month period last year.

The city of Detroit has had a drop of $37.9 million in taxes and development agreements from the casinos this year: $73.5 million for five months in 2019 and $35.6 million this year.

The state’s take in taxes from the Detroit casinos in that period was down $25.8 million, from $50 million in 2019 to $24.2 million this year.

Detroit, state rely heavily on casino funds

Estimates from Detroit officials last month maintained that the city has lost $600,000 a day due to the casinos being closed. With Detroit being out $37.9 million in the first 76 days of closures, that comes out to about $500,000, but the point still stands.

Also notable is that the casinos make up about 16% of the city’s general fund revenue.

Detroit took in more than $184 million from casinos last year. The state took in more than $117 million from Detroit’s casinos in 2019.

Daily fantasy contests not picking up much slack

The gaming control board also updated figures about fantasy contest operators through the end of April.

In April, DFS operators, including DraftKings and FanDuel, reported $14,289 in adjusted revenues for daily fantasy sports, which netted the state $15,480 in revenue at the 8.4% rate.

DFS operators had adjusted revenues of $3.1 million this year, paying the state $263,643.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed expanded gambling laws in December, which included the regulation of DFS.

FanDuel, DraftKings and SportsHub Games Network were the taxpaying fantasy contests in Michigan as of last month.

Minneapolis-based SportsHub Games Network is the operator of FanballCDM SportsNational Fantasy ChampionshipsWhatIfSportsBestBall10s and LeagueSafe.

In addition, Fantasy Football Players ChampionshipFullTime Fantasy Sports Network and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports were added to the report with their totals from earlier this year added retroactively.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He’s also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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