Detroit Casino Revenue Dips 11.8% MoM In April Despite City Hosting NFL Draft

Written By Corey Sharp on May 14, 2024
Aerial crowd shot from the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit. Despite the city hosting nearly 800,000 fans during the NFL Draft in April, Detroit casinos did not benefit from the event.

Detroit casinos could not build on March’s success, despite playing host to a record number of NFL Draft attendees in close proximity.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported today that the three casino properties combined for $107.9 million in revenue from slots, table games and poker in April.

Detroit casinos produced a combined $122.3 million in March earnings, the highest since December 2019. The April total is an 11.8% month-over-month decrease and a year-over-year decrease of 1.6% year-over-year. It’s the third straight year April revenue has decreased at the casinos.

bar graph showing Detroit casino revenue April comparison 2021-2024

Detroit casinos come back down to earth, NFL Draft does not help

Detroit set a record during the three-day NFL Draft at the end of April, welcoming 775,000 fans to the city to enjoy the festivities. Perhaps most of the fans spent their time outside, because casino revenue totals dipped a considerable amount compared to March, despite the influx of fans.

April was also the first time this year that Detroit casinos experienced a month-over-month decrease:

  • January: $93.9 million
  • February: $104.8 million
  • March: $122.3 million
  • April: $107.9 million

bar graph showing Detroit casino revenue first four months comparison 2020-2024

Despite the drop, Detroit casinos aren’t that far off from the total revenue generated through the first four months from years prior:

  • 2020: $299.2 million
  • 2021: $391.6 million
  • 2022: $432.3 million
  • 2023: $435.8 million
  • 2024: $428.8 million

Revenue breakdown by casino

All three casinos experienced a sizable drop in revenue in April from March. It is tough to discern the reason why, considering the city packed nearly 800,000 people across three days last month. Here is the breakdown of revenue:

Hollywood Casino at Greektown declined the least compared to the other properties. During PENN Entertainment’s Q1 call, CEO Jay Snowden announced a successful opening of the first ESPN BET retail sportsbook.

bar graph showing Detroit casino 2024 revenue comparison by casino

Hollywood Casino at Greektown’s successful ESPN BET retail sportsbook dominated

Hollywood Casino at Greektown produced the most retail sports betting handle by a wide margin:

  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: $7.5 million
  • MGM Grand Detroit: $3.9 million
  • MotorCity Casino: $3.8 million

PENN announced several big-named ESPN talent hosting podcast, radio and TV shows at the Detroit casino, which included Mike Greenberg, Mina Kimes and Field Yates.

Hollywood Casino at Greektown General Manager, John Drake, said at the opening:

“Bringing ESPN BET to Hollywood Greektown combines PENN’s premier sports media and sports betting offerings to create an amazing atmosphere for fans to watch and bet on sports. To celebrate the opening, we’re thrilled to host ESPN talent and programming at our property throughout the week.”

Up next: online numbers due next week

As for the online revenue figures, the MGCB is expected to drop those next week.

Photo by Paul Sancya / AP Photo
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp joined Catena Media in 2022 and is the go-to expert for Michigan gambling. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, he previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia as a sports journalist and content producer. In Corey’s role as Lead Writer for PlayMichigan, he works alongside a talented team of expert journalists and analysts to bring you the most comprehensive and accurate coverage of gambling news in Michigan. Corey’s contacts around the industry makes him a trusted source. Corey produces daily stories and features about the gambling space. Corey graduated from Holy Family University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

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