June Detroit Casino Revenue On Summer Vacation With The Rest Of Michigan

Posted on August 14, 2019

The things Michiganders can absolutely depend on: Death, taxes and a downturn in June for casino revenue in Detroit.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board’s report for the sixth month of this year follows a strong precedent that, if anything, proves casino patrons are predictable.

June Detroit casino revenue in detail

All adjusted gross receipts at all three Detroit casinos totaled $117.5 million for June 2019. Here is the breakdown:

  • MGM Grand:$50.7 million
  • Motor City Casino:$39.9 million
  • Greektown Casino: $26.9 million

That’s certainly no chump change, but it’s not a spectacular haul for the three Detroit casinos, either. In fact, it’s the lowest figure in the past three months.

The total is down 6.6% compared to the casino revenue from May 2019.

The biggest drop-off in total dollars came at MGM Grand, which was down nearly $3.7 million, or 6.8%, from the previous month. Greektown saw the largest percentage decrease, at nearly 8.7%, or about $2.55 million.

Year over year, the total is down nearly 1.4%, as the three Detroit casinos brought in $119.1 million in June 2018. That’s a small difference, and going back further shows that revenue from the casinos in June is typically as robust as this year’s Super Bowl odds for the Detroit Lions.

Beware the ides of … June?

If a casino executive had written Julius Caesar instead of William Shakespeare, that executive might have claimed June as a month of doom instead of March.

In fact, over the past five years, March has been the strongest month of the year for Detroit casinos. So far it looks like that will be true again in 2019.

June is a different story altogether, more like the scene in which Caesar is figuratively and literally stabbed in the back on the Senate steps. It hasn’t been the worst month of the year for Detroit casinos during Earth’s past five revolutions around the sun. However, it’s been a drop-off from the top end in each year.

Some simple thinking about the context of the month demonstrates why. Michigan’s casinos are by no means outliers of the norm. On the other hand, casinos around the country deal with the same issues during the summer months.

Why June casino revenues often disappoint

The summer months are typically when many customers, free from obligations of school, are most likely to take vacations and plan other daily activities.

The weather is much nicer than in March. Nicer weather pulls potential patrons to picnics and peripheral past times. Many of them are more likely to try their luck fishing for actual fish than hoping to land the jack they need to go with their 10 at a blackjack table.

That all leads to expendable-income dollars, which would go toward gambling while the kiddos are in school — going to other purposes like airplane tickets during June. Other factors play in, but that’s a strong reason why June is a down month.

After a report that Michigan’s commercial casinos generated $2.2 billion for the School Aid Fund over the past 20 years, a lack-luster revenue report is anti-climatic.

The comforting aspect of June’s performance is that it proves casino revenue is predictable. There are better months ahead this year for Detroit casinos.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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