Detroit casinos report revenue increases, prepare for sports betting


February continued to bring strong revenues to Detroit casinos. The Michigan Gaming Control Board have announced revenues figures for the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino, and each one is doing pretty well.

detroit-casinos-report-revenue-increases-prepare-for-sports-bettingIn total, the Detroit casinos reported aggregate revenue of $121.7 million for the month, improving year on year by 6.3 percent, and doing 1.5 percent better than the $120 million collected in January. Overall, revenues are up 6.7 percent for the first two months of 2020, when compared to 2019.

MGM Grand Detroit did the best of the three, bringing in a 6.4 percent increase to $52.6 million in revenue. Motorcity and Greektown both saw increases too, the former bringing in $40.5 million for a 4.7 percent improvement, and the latter taking $28.6 million for an 8.3% improvement.

Overall, Michigan was happy with this performance, collecting $9.9 million in gaming taxes. That’s a healthy improvement over the $9.3 million collected last year. In addition, the three casinos paid $14.5 million to the city of Detroit.

All of these numbers promise to improve for the month of March, now that sports betting is coming to Detroit. As promised, the Michigan Gaming Control Board has gone ahead and approved the three casinos to accept in person sports wagers starting March 11 at 1:00pm. MGM and Greektown will start as early as possible, while Motorcity has decided to delay their first sports wagering until the start of the day on Thursday, at 10:00am.

“I think it’s going to be great for Michigan’s casinos,” MGCB executive director Richard Kalm told reports after the meeting. “I think it’s going to drive market activity. There’s not a lot of margin to make a lot of money at sports betting per se, but it will drive traffic in the casinos. So they’ll be able to market other amenities: hotel rooms, drinks and other gaming that goes on.”

The three casinos used the approval meeting to announce their final plans for sports betting. MotorCity will operate 54 kiosks and six betting windows, Greektown is going with 28 kiosks and four betting counters, and MGM Grand will open 16 kiosks and six betting windows.

Kalm wouldn’t make any prediction to how much volume sports betting will bring, but he believes it has to be good. “We can only look at other states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” Kalm said. “It has raised the amount of people that go to the casino, and Detroit’s a big sports town. There’s always a lot of sporting activities going on with four major-league teams in town. I do believe there’s going to be a benefit to the casino and driving traffic into each as well.