Minus Strike Months, Detroit Casinos Averaged More Revenue In 2023 Than 2022

Written By Drew Ellis on January 10, 2024 - Last Updated on January 17, 2024
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The year 2023 was a newsworthy one for the three Detroit casinos.

While the casinos were outpacing 2022 revenue numbers for most of the year, the first workers’ strike in Detroit casino history impacted things.

With two months of the year seeing the revenue impacted by staffing issues, 2023’s revenue total from slots and table gaming finished below 2022.

But, there are still plenty of indications that Detroit casinos are working their way back toward pre-pandemic revenue levels.

Overall 2023 revenue falls short of 2022

December’s slot and table game revenue was $111.4 million for the Detroit casinos.

It was an important bounce-back showing after falling below $82 million in both October and November due to the casino workers’ strike.

December’s mark was the second-highest monthly revenue total of 2023, only finishing behind March’s $117.8 million.

With December’s total, the three casinos finished at $1.22 billion in slot and table game revenue in 2023.

Overall it finished 2.7% below 2022’s total of $1.26 billion.

However, it’s fair to say that if not for the strike, the Detroit casinos would have bested 2022’s revenue total.

Why 2023 was still an improvement for Detroit

The bottom line may read that 2023’s gambing revenue at Detroit casinos fell shy of 2022. But, that’s not looking at the bigger picture.

If we eliminate the months where the worker’s strike impacted revenue, 2023 was actually a stronger year than 2022.

The strike severely hampered October and November revenue for the Detroit casinos. If we subtract those two months, 2023 actually averaged more per month in revenue than both 2022 and 2021.

In 10 months without a strike, Detroit’s casinos averaged $106.5 million per month in slot and table game revenue.

Comparatively, 2022 averaged just $104.7 million over the 12 months. In 2021, the Detroit casinos averaged $105.6 million per month.

Chart showing the Detroit Avg. Monthly Casino Revenue from slots and table games, minus the two months in 2023 when the casino workers' strike limited operations

Detroit still trying to get to pre-pandemic levels

The average monthly revenue stat shows that the Detroit casinos are still improving out of the pandemic.

However, they still have a long way to catch up to pre-pandemic levels.

2020 didn’t allow for any reliable statistics, since the majority of the year saw the casinos closed or dealing with significant capacity restrictions.

Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, the Detroit casinos had a record year of slot and table game revenue. That year saw them combine for $1.45 billion, an average of $121.2 million per month.

The pandemic clearly dealt a blow to the Detroit casinos that has yet to be overcome. Legalizing online casinos in Michigan in 2021 has also taken a portion of retail revenue away.

Despite all that, if not for the strike, 2023 would have taken a step forward toward closing the gap to 2019.

Detroit’s casinos may not get back to 2019 levels, but there’s positive momentum for 2024.

Photo by PlayMichigan
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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