Detroit casino revenue of $86.4 million down nearly 29% from last February

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Detroit's three casinos reported $86.38 million in revenue for February, down nearly 29% from February 2020 — the last month before the coronavirus pandemic prompted casino closures and restrictions. 

The monthly aggregate revenue results from MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino reflect the second full month the venues were open since an extended, state-ordered closure starting in November. Still, the locations are under capacity limits and must abide by other health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Tuesday's report from the Michigan Gaming Control Board included revenue and taxes from table games and slots, as well as from retail sports betting and fantasy contests. The agency is slated to release revenue numbers tied to internet gaming and sports betting — which launched in Michigan in January — next week.

Table games and slots at the three casinos generated $86.46 million in revenue, according to MGCB, for a 29% decline from February 2020. MGM's monthly gaming revenue fell 34.6%, to $34.43 million. MotorCity's, meanwhile, dropped 22.9%, to $31.24 million, while Greektown's was down 27.3% to $20.79 million.

The three casinos paid $7 million in gaming taxes to the state last month, down from $9.9 million in February 2020. They reported paying $10.3 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the city of Detroit in February, down from nearly $14.5 million a year ago.

Retail sports betting, meanwhile, generated a total loss $77,627. The three casinos reported a total handle of more than $23.7 million. Retail sports betting was permitted to launch in the state early last year.

Greektown reported $114,814 in qualified adjusted gross receipts from retail (or, in-person) sports betting for the month. MGM recorded a $8,761 loss, while MotorCity posted a loss of $183,680. 

The casinos paid $4,340 in taxes to the state on retail sports betting revenues. They paid $5,304 in taxes to the city.

Fantasy contest operators, meanwhile, reported total adjusted revenue of $2.2 million, according to MGCB.

The casinos, which provide a significant stream of revenue to the city, were closed from mid-November until late December. They previously were closed for much of the spring and summer of 2020. For 2020, total adjusted revenue was down more than 57% from 2019.

With key metrics tied to the virus trending in a more positive direction, the state loosening pandemic-related restrictions, and three COVID-19 vaccines now in distribution, 2021 could prove to be a better year for the operations.

MGM Grand had the highest market share, of 40%, in February. MotorCity Casino had 36%, while Greektown had 24%.

Meanwhile, Michigan Legacy Credit Union — which has branches in Flat Rock, Garden City, Highland, Pontiac, Warren and Wyandotte — announced in a news release Tuesday that it had eliminated access for its members' credit and debit cards to all online gambling websites. The credit union said it was "already seeing the negative financial impact on its members and ultimately the financial institution" since the Jan. 22 launch of online gambling. 

“We are already seeing our members racking up debts through these online betting platforms that they can’t afford to pay back," Carma Peters, president and CEO of the institution, said in a statement. "We are not making a judgment on gambling or online betting; as a member-owned credit union, we simply can’t afford the write-offs from our institution’s credit and debit cards."

Twitter: @JGrzelewski