Detroit Casinos’ November Revenue Projected To Be Worst Month Ever

Written By Drew Ellis on December 11, 2023 - Last Updated on December 13, 2023
Fortune Teller projecting declining revenue for Detroit casinos. November revenue is projected to be the worst month in the casino industry's history in the city.

The Detroit casino workers’ strike may be over but its impact on revenue still isn’t quite clear.

This week the Michigan Gaming Control Board will release November’s revenue numbers for the three Detroit casinos. That will show us just how much impact the strike had on the three casinos.

The strike impacted two of the three casinos for half the month, while the MGM Grand Detroit was dealing with the limited work staff for the whole month.

PlayMichigan projects November’s numbers to be the lowest ever with all three Detroit casinos open for the entire month.

Breaking down Detroit’s revenue numbers

Detroit casinos prior to the strike

Prior to the strike, the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown were having a strong collective year.

Through nine months the three had made $953.7 million in revenue from slots and table games, as well as $5 million in revenue from retail sports betting.

That was an average of $106.5 million per month for the year in collective gaming revenue.

October revenue takes a big dip

The Detroit casino strike officially started on Oct. 17, leaving half of the month with the casinos operating at about 50% capacity.

October revenue numbers for Detroit were $81.7 million from slots and table games, along with $1.1 million in retail sports betting.

The revenue from slots and table games was the lowest the Detroit casinos had seen since December of 2020 when they were closed for most of the month due to the pandemic.

The $82.8 million in collective revenue for October was about $24 million below average for 2023.

Each individual Detroit casino was at least 20% below its 2023 average when it came to gaming revenue in October.

None was hit harder than MGM Grand Detroit, which was 24.6% below average at $37.3 million for the month.

Here’s what each of the three casinos was below average in gaming revenue in October.

  • MGM Grand Detroit: $12.2 million
  • MotorCity Casino: $7.1 million
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: $4.9 million

Strike ends midway through November for two

The strike ended on Nov. 19 for both MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown.

However, it carried on for the MGM Grand Detroit into the early days of December.

That means MGM Grand Detroit’s November revenue will be completely reflective of being at limited staff.

The other two will have their November revenue reflective of being at about 50% capacity for roughly two-thirds of the month.

Projecting Detroit casinos’ November revenue

Looking at what each casino lost below its 2023 average in October can give us some indication.

That number was based on 15 days of a strike.

In November, we saw 19 days of a strike for two and a full 30 for the other. Even with the strike concluding for MotorCity and Hollywood Casino, they still had to phase workers back in over about a week’s time to return to full operations.

It’s hard to gauge if the striker had a greater impact as time went on, so we will take what we saw in October and apply that in November.

For MotorCity and Hollywood Casino the strike lasted 48.4% of the month in October and 63.3% in November. That means the losses in October should grow by about 32%.

When it comes to the MGM Grand Detroit, we can safely double their losses from October, as they remained understaffed all month.

Adding those numbers together gives a collective loss of $40 million below average. As the other two had to still phase in some work, we can probably safely bump that up to about $43 million in revenue loss from slots and table games.

Retail sports betting, even at its best, generates only about $2 million in revenue. With the strike, that number probably sits right around $1 million, which would put the collective projection to $44 million in losses.

Based on all these projections and data, PlayMichigan expects the total gaming revenue for the three Detroit casinos to come in at about $63.5 million in slots and table games, and about $1 million for sports betting. Here’s the breakdown for each casino:

  • MGM Grand Detroit: $24.6 million
  • MotorCity Casino: $21.8 million
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: $17.1 million

If accurate, that would be the lowest monthly revenue total for the three collective Detroit casinos ever while being open for the entire month. That dates back to December of 2000.

Photo by PlayMichigan
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the 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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