Detroit casino revenue down; Maryland judge upholds November ballot, calls lawsuit 'baseless'

TAGs: Business, casinos, Detroit, legislature, Maryland

mgm detroit outsideThe three major casinos in Detroit have definitely seen some brighter days. Unfortunately, these days have been anything but sunny for them after the state reported another year of dropped revenues. It’s the second collective revenue loss for the casinos when total revenue fell by 0.5 percent in 2012 from their numbers a year before. The only other time this has happened was in 2009 when revenues declined by 1.5 percent from the 2008 figures.

Of the three casinos, MGM Grand was the only to improve their revenues from 2011, generating more than $600 million for the year, an improvement of nearly 1 percent from their 2011 figures. Unfortunately, the other two casinos in Detroit – the MotorCity Casino-Hotel and the Greektown Casino-Hotel – weren’t as fortunate with MotorCity generating only $460 million in revenue for 2012, a 2.6 percent revenue drop from their 2011 numbers. Greektown didn’t fare as badly as MotorCity in terms of the percentage of lower revenues, but the 0.2 percent decrease to $352 million is no less worrisome.

Part of the reason for the collective revenue loss can be attributed to growing competition from neighboring states, particularly Ohio, which now has the newly-opened Hollywood Toledo Casino taking away valuable customers out of the three Detroit casinos. It’s a telling statement, considering that before Hollywood Toledo opened its doors last May, the Detroit casinos were in the middle of increased revenue of 2 percent from their 2011 numbers, including MGM Grand who, at that time, had a 3.5 percent revenue gain through May only to see it barely reach 1 percent by the end of the year. Even Greektown, despite its stature as the smallest of the three casinos, had increased revenue to the tune of 4.6 percent through May. But since Hollywood Toledo opened, those numbers have gone down across the board.

Since the Toledo casino lies only 50 miles south of Detroit, a lot of residents from Southeast Michigan have opted to cross state lines to a casino that offered a closer, newer and, dare we say, better facilities for its patrons.

Maryland judge dismisses lawsuit against the state’s expanded gambling bill

You would have thought that after Maryland voters voted lawfully to expand casino gambling back in November, the issue would’ve already died down. But thanks to a lawsuit that sought to upend the expansion of casino gambling in the state because the wording of the measure was “unconstitutional”, the whole merry-go-round surrounding this issue was left to drag on.

At least until this week when Judge Ronald A. Silkworth, an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge, rejected the lawsuit, citing the move to disqualify the vote on a technicality as ‘baseless’. With the dismal of the lawsuit, the expanded gambling bill has finally cleared the last hurdle on its way to being put into action.

Former Prince George‚Äôs County Council member Tom Dernoga was one of the most vocal proponents of the lawsuit and even talked before Judge Silkworth a few weeks ago, arguing the language used in the measure and that the bill should be valid if approved by a majority of “qualified voters”, something Dernoga argues as being all register and eligible to vote, not the ones who just voted on the measure back in November.

The argument, however, fell on deaf ears as Judge Silkworth dismissed the claim and has effectively cleared the last pieces of roadblock for Maryland’s expanded gambling bill.


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