Detroit Casinos Rebound In May, Record Second-Best Month Of 2024

Written By Corey Sharp on June 11, 2024
Detroit River Walk. Detroit casinos produced $111.4 million in slot and table games revenue for May, rebounding from April to post the second-best month of 2024.

Detroit casinos experienced a better month in May despite the absence of the influx of people the NFL Draft brought the city in April.

The combination of MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown produced a total of $111.3 million in slot and table game revenue, according to numbers released today by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Many thought with the NFL Draft in April, Detroit casinos would see either an uptick in revenue or a total close to March’s. However, that was not the case.

May is currently the second-best month in earnings for Detroit casinos. Properties displayed an 3.2% month-over-month increase and a 6.3% year-over-year increase. It was the best May since 2019 ($125.8 million).

bar graph showing Detroit casino revenue May comparison

Each of the three casinos improved slot and table revenue from April.

Detroit casinos increase revenue in May

Despite 775,000 fans flocking to Detroit during a weekend in late April for the NFL Draft, city casinos had a better month in May. After a decrease in April from March, Detroit casinos got back on track. It’s the third time in four months properties have increased earnings totals:

  • January: $93.9 million
  • February: $104.8 million
  • March: $122.3 million
  • April: $107.9 million
  • March: $111.3 million

The retail industry had been walking on eggshells the first month or two of 2024. In January, the three casino recorded only $93.9 million in slot and table game revenue. It was the lowest monthly revenue total that wasn’t impacted by the workers’ strike or COVID limitations since June of 2005 ($92.6 million).

The cannibalization talk, which had started floating around in early part of the year, has become a non-issue as of late.

The MGCB’s efforts to shut down illegal gambling, both in-person and online, only helps make the regulated industry even stronger. It has made the following steps to ban illegal gambling:

Revenue breakdown by casino

bar graph showing Detroit casino revenue comparison first five months of 2024

The three Detroit casinos each produced an improvement in revenue in May from April. MGM Grand Detroit led the way, per usual:

Detroit casinos almost match 2023 revenue through May

All of Michigan’s efforts to halt the black market appears to be paying off. After questions about cannibalization to start the year, Detroit casinos are right on pace with last year’s totals.

Through May of last year, city properties produced $540.5 million in slot and table game revenue. Detroit casinos have posted $540.1 million through the same time period this year. With the continued push to eliminate illegal gambling, Detroit casinos have plenty of time to match or surpass the $1.22 billion in 2023 earnings.

Hollywood Casino at Greektown leads retail sports betting

Hollywood Casino at Greektown led the three casinos in May sports betting handle after successfully opening its first ESPN BET retail sportsbook before the NFL Draft:

  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: $4.4 million
  • MotorCity Casino: $3.6 million
  • MGM Grand Detroit: $3.1 million

The Greektown sportsbook reported tremendous results in April, posting $7.5 million in handle. MotorCity Casino and MGM Grand Detroit, combined, produced $7.7 million, combined, in bets in April.

While Hollywood has a strong retail presence, it only makes up 23% of total sports betting handle. ESPN BET online market share has fallen in each month in 2024.

Should ESPN BET online ever match the strength of the retail casino, Hollywood will have a solid product in its hands. Time will tell if Hollywood can turn its online fortunes around, which is the more important of the two.

Up next: online numbers due next week

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

Photo by Shutterstock
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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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