Eight Michigan Tribal Casinos Saw Yearly Gaming Payment Decline In 2022

Written By Drew Ellis on April 17, 2023
2022 Michigan Tribal Gaming Report

Eight different Michigan tribal casinos saw a decrease in reported gaming payments in 2022.

According to the 2022 Tribal Gaming Report released by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos had a 2.2% collective decrease in its reported payments to local entities from 2021.

Each year, the MGCB releases information on the payments tribes make to local units of state government based on slot revenue from their Class III machines.

That number represents roughly 2% of the casino’s respective net win accrued over the year. It’s the lone public insight into annual tribal casino revenue in Michigan.

Tribal casinos make up 23 of the 26 casinos in the state. Detroit’s retail casinos, as well as Michigan online casinos — including tribal partners — are required to provide monthly revenue reports.

Detroit’s casinos were also down slightly in 2022.

Michigan tribal casino payments down 2% from 2021

The 2% payment calculation roughly estimates annual tribal casino slot revenue. However, many factors can impact the payments and the net win totals. Those factors can differ amongst each tribe, according to a statement the MGCB provided for PlayMichigan.

As an example, the tribes differ in how they include free play wagers into their reported net win for the year. Also, several tribes have Class II machines at their casinos, and that revenue is not included in the annual tribal report.

In 2022, Michigan tribes made $30.8 million in payments to local government units. That is a slight drop from $31.5 million in 2021.

Here’s a breakdown of how each of the 12 tribes that operate casinos compared year over year.

Tribe2021 payment2022 paymentChange 2021-22
Bay Mills$340,688$329,502-3.3%
Grand Traverse Band$1,383794$1,344,666-2.8%
Gun Lake$4,243,082$4,272,440+0.7%
Hannahville$1,122,372$1,192,758+6.3%
Keweenaw Bay$754,687$725,721-3.8%
Lac Vieux Desert Band$291,596$273,875-6.1%
Little River Band$1,463,331$1,498,279+2.4%
Little Traverse Bay Bands$1,150,137$1,112,296-3.3%
Nottawaseppi Huron Band$6,397,613$6,196,103-3.2%
Pokagon Band$6,120,250$5,578,183-8.9%
Saginaw Chippewa$7,023,782$6,916,589-1.5%
Sault Ste. Marie$1,214,061$1,364,104+12.4%
Totals$31,505,393$30,804,516-2.2%

Eight Michigan tribal casino operators saw payments decline

Of the 12 tribal gaming operators in the state, a total of eight saw a decline in their 2% payments from 2021.

Among the eight, the four that saw the largest declines were:

  • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians: The operators of Four Winds Casinos in Dowagiac, Hartford and New Buffalo saw a collective 8.9% decline. That was the largest of any of the 12 tribes.
  • Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians: Operators of Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet saw a 6.1% decrease from 2021. It also had the lowest collective payment total ($273,875) of any of the 12 tribes.
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community: The tribe that operates Ojibwa Casinos in Baraga and Marquette had a 3.8% decrease.
  • Little Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa Indians: Owners of the Odawa Casinos in Mackinaw City and Petoskey saw a collective decline of 3.3% from 2021.

Four Michigan tribal casino operators increase payments

A total of four Michigan tribal gaming operators saw an increase from 2021, according to the report.

  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians: Owners of Kewadin Casinos in Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie bucked the statewide trend. They recorded a 12.4% increase from 2021, far outpacing the rest of the tribes around the state. They were also an outlier compared to other Upper Peninsula casinos that saw some of the biggest declines in 2022.
  • Hannahville Indian Community: The tribe that operates Island Resort & Casino saw 6.3% growth in 2022.
  • Little River Band of Ottawa Indians: Operators of Little River Casino Resort in Manistee reported a 2.4% payment increase for 2022.
  • Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band Of Pottawatomi Indians: The tribe that owns Gun Lake Casino in Wayland saw a slight uptick. They reported a 0.7% increase from 2021. Of the four tribes that saw growth, Gun Lake made the largest payment of nearly $4.3 million.
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is currently the Lead Writer of PlayILottery.com. He was the former Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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