As Masks Return To Detroit Casinos In November, Sports Betting Numbers Go Down

Written By Matt Schoch on December 14, 2021

Sports betting at Detroit casinos ticked down a bit in November, as the trio of downtown gambling halls again required patrons to wear masks for the holiday season.

Bettors wagered $26.7 million at the three retail sportsbooks in the city. That total is down 22.0% from October, when five football weekends carried a banner month.

The casinos brought in the highest revenue mark for any month in 2021, however, as a $4.6 million haul represents a hold of 17.4%.

Detroit’s three casinos had re-instituted mask requirements in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. This move was based on a recommendation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The sports betting hauls may have been burdened by the continued struggles of the Detroit Lions. On the other hand, the Michigan and Michigan State football teams provided many reasons to wager, including Michigan’s 42-27 rivalry victory against Ohio State on Nov. 27.

These numbers don’t include the wagers taken at several Michigan tribal casinos sportsbooks, which are not required to publicly report monthly figures to the Michigan Gaming Control Board. November’s revenue numbers from online sports betting should come out soon.

MGM Grand Detroit tops rivals for November handle lead

MGM Grand Detroit garnered the most sports betting handle of the casinos in November, taking $9.6 million in bets at BetMGM Sportsbook, a 36.0% market share.

The FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino was second in handle at $8.8 million (33.1% share), while Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown Casino took in $8.3 million (31.0%).

LicenseeRetail HandleRevenue (GGR)PromosState TaxLocal Tax
MGM Grand$9,597,375$1,029,267-$2,190$38,989$47,653
MotorCity$8,830,680$1,788,692$316,296$55,657$68,025
Greektown$8,265,830$1,824,846$0$68,979$84,308
Total$26,693,885$4,642,805$314,106$163,625$199,986

November was the third straight month that MGM Grand took the most sports bets in the city. That streak started after Greektown had taken more than twice as many bets as any rival in August.

Greektown led the trio in November revenue, however, keeping $1.8 million of the betting haul.

More than $2 million in tax payments so far in 2021

The casinos paid $199,986 was paid to the city of Detroit and $163,625 in state wagering taxes from November sports betting.

For the 2021 calendar year, the casinos had paid $1.2 million to Detroit and $984,251 to the state for a total of nearly $2.2 million.

Casino revenue, fantasy revenue down from last month

As for table games and slot revenue at the Detroit casinos, November had a 6.8% drop from October, earning $103.9 million in revenue. The November revenue was up 116.1% from last year, though, as the casinos were closed from Nov. 18-30 in 2020 because of pandemic-related health concerns.

MGM Grand Detroit also led the trio in table games and slot revenue, earning $48.3 million, good for a 46.5% market share. MotorCity Casino earned $33.0 million in revenue (31.8%), and Greektown earned $22.5 million (21.7%).

The casinos paid $8.4 million in gaming taxes to the state, compared with $3.9 million paid in November 2020. The casinos reported submitting $13.0 million Detroit in wagering taxes and development agreement payments during November.

As for the fantasy contest race, daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings held off FanDuel for Michigan’s leader in October.

The state reports those numbers a month behind that of the casino and sports betting totals. For October, operators reported $1.7 million in adjusted revenue, paying $147,693 in state tax revenue.

DraftKings earned $1.0 million in revenue, paying $84.474 in state taxes. FanDuel netted $661,707 in revenue, paying $55,583 in state taxes.

For the year, adjusted revenue was $13.9 million with $1.2 million in taxes paid.

Photo by Tero Vesalainen/Dreamstime
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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