Detroit Casinos Move Up To 8th Nationally Among Retail Gaming Markets in 2021

Written By Paul Costanzo on May 11, 2022 - Last Updated on May 13, 2022
Detroit casinos

Detroit’s retail casinos roared back to life in 2021, doubling their revenue from the pandemic-ravaged 2020.

It turns out they roared back as well as anyone in the country.

The American Gaming Association released Wednesday its annual State of the States report, and Motown moved up to eighth among commercial gaming markets nationwide, from 10th.

MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino (now Hollywood Casino at Greektown) generated $1.29 billion in retail casino and sports betting revenue during the year. That’s despite being under capacity limits for half of it, and mask mandates being in place for most of the year. Less than $650 million was generated in 2020.

Detroit established as one of nation’s top gaming markets

Detroit’s casinos brought in $1.27 billion from traditional gaming devices and table games, and $27.3 million from their retail sportsbooks.

The Las Vegas Strip remained far-and-away the top gaming market in the country, bringing in $7.05 billion. It was followed by Atlantic City ($2.57 billion), Chicagoland ($2.01 billion), Baltimore-Washington, D.C. ($2 billion), Gulf Coast, Miss. ($1.61 billion), New York City ($1.46 billion) and Philadelphia ($1.4 billion).

St. Louis ($1.03 billion) and Boulder Strip, Nev. ($967 million) rounded out the top 10. Both of those markets were ahead of Detroit in the previous State of the States rankings.

Online gaming does not seem to have slowed Detroit casinos

The total of $1.29 billion is still below the record $1.45 billion in revenue generated in 2019.

While some might draw a line between that gap and the 2021 introduction of online casinos and online sportsbooks in the state, that lacks a lot of context.

Pandemic restrictions, most importantly the capacity limits for nearly six months, likely played a bigger role. A real answer likely isn’t to come until at least the end of this year, and maybe not even then, as Covid-19 cases are climbing once again in the state.

Early returns on 2022 have been good, however.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported Tuesday that Detroit’s casinos reported $118.73 million in revenue in April. That’s after more than $120 million in revenue was produced in March.

Those numbers are well ahead of their 2021 counterparts, and closer to what was seen in 2019.

Inside the Detroit retail casino revenue numbers

MGM accounted for 48% of the casino market share in April with more than $56.7 million in revenue. It was followed by MotorCity at 31% ($36.4 million) and Greektown at 21% ($23.7 million).

Only MGM brought in more money in April than it did in March.

Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown was once again the leader in retail sports betting. Here’s a look at all three retail books in April.

  • Barstool at Greektown: $15.1 million in handle; $912,513 in qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR)
  • FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity: $4.5 million in handle; $552,841 in QAGR
  • BetMGM Sports Lounge$4.7 million in handle; $405,385 in QAGR

The total sports betting handle of $24.8 million was, expectedly, down from March’s $26.4 million, but not by much.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Paul Costanzo

Paul Costanzo is the managing editor of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. He has covered news and sports throughout the state at various media outlets over the past 20 years. Paul works with a talented team at PlayMichigan to provide the latest news and information on Michigan’s booming sports betting, online casino and online poker industries.

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