Detroit Casinos Take $25M In Sports Bets Despite November’s Closure

Written By Matt Schoch on December 9, 2020

More than $25 million in sports betting was wagered in Detroit this November, despite the three casinos being closed since Nov. 18.

That number is down from a record October when more than $46 million was wagered in the city. October was the third straight record month for Michigan sports betting, which has now taken more than $100 million in bets since March’s launch.

Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino will stay closed until at least Dec. 20 after the health department’s latest orders.

Relief could be on the way soon, as the Michigan Gaming Control Board expects to launch online gambling, including mobile sports betting, next month. Check out our live updates for the latest.

Michigan sports betting missed holiday haul

For November, sports betting at the casinos raised more than $2.3 million in adjusted gross receipts, generating more than $88,000 in state taxes and nearly $108,000 in city taxes for Detroit.

MGM led the way with $10.5 million in November sports betting handle, 42.0% of the market share. MotorCity was next, its $8.3 million handle, a 33.2% share. Greektown took $6.2 million in sports bets, a 24.8% share.

LicenseeHandleRevenueState TaxLocal Tax
MGM Grand$10,533,411$561,372$21,220$25,935
MotorCity$8,327,169$1,130,956$42,750$52,250
Greektown$6,219,561$645,310$24,393$29,813
Grand Traverse??$0$0
Hannahville??$0$0
Little River??$0$0
Little Traverse Bay??$0$0
Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish??$0$0
Nottawaseppi Huron??$0$0
Pokagon??$0$0
Total$25,080,140$2,337,638$88,363$107,999

In November, Greektown outperformed its overall market share, which is now 20.6% for the year. MGM still leads at 44.8% and MotorCity is down to 34.6%, but Greektown was picking things up before the shutdown.

November also was slated to bring the opening of the permanent Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown. That unveiling will have to wait.

The casinos took in more than $1.4 million in sports wagers for each of November’s 17 gaming days. That pace would’ve put the overall November numbers at right about the same as October’s record result.

For the year, $121 million has been bet on sports since the March 11 launch in Detroit. The retail sportsbooks have raised nearly $16.4 million in revenue for the casinos, with more than $619,000 in taxes paid to the state and more than $757,000 to Detroit.

CasinoHandleRevenueState tax (3.78%)City of Detroit tax (4.62%)
Total$166,447,691.29.$22,339,974.96$844,451.05$1,032,106.84
MGM Grand Detroit$68,722,968.50$9,029,186.40$341,303.25$417,148.42
MotorCity Casino$61,496,308.00$7,596,247.30$287,138.15$350,946.62
Greektown Casino-Hotel$36,228,414.79 $5,714,541.26$216,009.66$264,011.81

Late November closures meant missing the holiday crowd from Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It also meant missing wagers on the Detroit Lions annual Thanksgiving game, one of the only times each season the sad-sack franchise is on the national stage.

More sports betting options available, on the way

Several tribal casinos also operate sportsbooks though they are not subject to public reporting and state taxes. Many are still open despite the Detroit shutdown, including FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek and others.

Overall, the Detroit casinos reported $50.4 million in November revenue. Through Nov. 30, table games and slots revenue declined 54.9% compared with January through November 2019 results.

MGM led the market with $20.5 million in gaming revenue for November, followed by MotorCity ($17.5 million) and Greektown ($10.1 million).

In other news, fantasy sports contest operators reported total adjusted revenues of $2.2 million and paid taxes of $183,236 for October, eclipsing the $1 million mark in taxes paid for the year, the first since expanded gambling laws were passed in December 2019.

DraftKings again maintained its lead over rival FanDuel, earning $1.3 million in adjusted revenue to FanDuel’s $825,502.82.

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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 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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