$122.3 Million In Revenue Propels Detroit Casinos To Best Month In 4 Years

Written By Dave Briggs on April 9, 2024 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024
Skyline of the city of Detroit with a large black and white casino chip with the Detroit logo on it. The combined revenue of the Detroit casinos has not been this high since December 2019. The March numbers are up 17% from February.

Detroit’s three retail casinos posted their best March since 2019 and their best monthly gambling revenue numbers in over four years.

That’s the word from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which announced today that Detroit casinos combined for $122.3 million in revenue from slots, table games and poker in March.

Not since December of 2019 — 51 months ago — have the casinos had revenue this high.

In December of 2019 the casinos had revenue of $127.7 million. March of 2019 was the most profitable month of that year thanks to revenue of just over $140.4 million. In fact, that was the best month in the 25-year history of Detroit casinos.

The March 2024 numbers are up 17% from February’s revenue of $104.8 million and up 3.6% when compared to the nearly $118 million the Detroit casinos brought in for March 2023.

March is traditionally the best revenue month of the year. In March of 2023, the casinos had a yearly high. The same was true in March of 2022 ($120.9 million).

bar chart showing Detroit casino revenue January, February March comparison 2020-2024

Retail sports betting at Detroit casinos up 30% in March

Retail sports betting at the casinos improved last month, but that’s no surprise since February was a poor month.

In March, Detroit retail sportsbooks at the three casinos took in collective handle of $17.2 million. That’s up 30% from February’s total of $13.2 million, but down 29% compared to $24.2 million in January when NFL betting was still a strong factor.

However, the March 2023 handle was up 23.7% when compared with March of 2023 ($13.9 million).

Detroit retail sportsbooks had adjusted gross receipts of nearly $1.6 million thanks mostly to March Madness betting. That’s up 14% from March 2023’s adjusted gross receipts of more than $1.4 million and is the best monthly total so far this year.

In February, retail sportsbooks at Detroit casinos posted a collective loss for the month of $120,142. In January, they had adjusted gross receipts of just over $500,000.

Detroit casinos up sharply from February

bar chart showing Detroit casino revenue March comparison 2020-2024

Breaking down the revenue for each of the three Detroit casinos last month we find that each showed significant growth over both February and January numbers.

  • MGM Grand Detroit: $56.7 million in March, up 15% from $49.3 million in February and up 27% from $44.6 million in January.
  • MotorCity Casino: $38.4 million in March, up 21.5% from $31.6 million in February and up 41.7% from $27.1 million in January.
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: $27.3 million in March, up 15% from $23.8 million in February and up 23% from $22.2 million in January.

Last month’s combined Detroit casino revenue produced $9.9 million in state wagering tax revenue (up 16% from February’s $8.5 million) and $14.5 million in Detroit wagering tax revenue (up 16% from $12.5 million in February).

bar graph showing Detroit casino revenue January, February March comparison 2020-2024 by casino

Detroit casino revenue gaining momentum

Even posting the best month in over four years still has the three Detroit casinos behind the first three months of 2023 in terms of average monthly revenue. That’s due to January being a surprisingly soft month. Perhaps it was a hangover from the workers’ strike which closed the three casinos for the better part of six weeks near the end of 2023.

Through the first three months of 2024, Detroit casinos are averaging revenue of almost $107 million per month. While that is ahead of 2022’s start, it is still a few million dollars behind 2023.

By comparison, here’s where the average stood through the first three months in recent years:

  • 2024: $106,975,584
  • 2023: $108,720,417
  • 2022: $105,163,852
  • 2021: $94,702,919*
  • 2020: $99,741,867*

*Casinos had capacity limits due to the pandemic

Retail sports betting improves thanks to March Madness

Sports betting in Michigan improved at the three Detroit casinos last month thanks to March Madness betting, one of the biggest sports betting events of the year.

All three retail sportsbooks were profitable last month. That wasn’t the case in February when both MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino posted losses, while Hollywood Casino had a small amount of revenue.

In March of 2023, the books made $1.4 million in revenue. This year, it was nearly $1.6 million

  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: $731,389 in adjusted gross revenue on $9.6 million in wagers.
  • MotorCity Casino: $538,988 on $4 million in wagers
  • MGM Grand Detroit: $327,857 on $3.7 million in wagers.

Up next: online numbers due next week

As for the online revenue figures, the Michigan Gaming Control Board is expected to drop those next week.

Photo by PlayMichigan
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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in Michigan with an emphasis on online casino, online sports betting and horse racing sectors. He is currently reporting on the gambling industries in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Canada.

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