Detroit Casinos Losing $1.5-2.5 Million Per Day During Workers’ Strike

Written By Drew Ellis on October 26, 2023 - Last Updated on October 27, 2023
Image of Detroit skyline at night with downward arrow for story on Detroit losing casino revenue during the strike

The Detroit casino workers’ strike is in the midst of its second week and it is already proving costly for all involved.

Five unions comprised of 3,700 casino workers are picketing the three Detroit casinos. PlayMichigan is covering the strike live.

Despite the staffing losses, the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown remain open. But, clearly, they are not able to operate as normal.

How much are these casinos losing with each day the strike prolongs? We will not be privy to actual numbers until October revenue reports are released sometime in November. For now, PlayMichigan has made an educated guess.

We believe the Detroit casinos are losing $1.5-2.5 million per day of the strike.

Meanwhile, in terms of daily tax revenue, we estimate Michigan is losing out on between $120,000 and $202,000. And, the city of Detroit is losing out on between $190,000 and $320,000.

Here’s how we arrived at the numbers.

Breaking down Detroit casino revenue numbers

Let’s start with the base numbers collectively for:

Through eight months of data for 2023, the Detroit casinos have collected $853.7 million in revenue through slots, table games and poker.

The retail sportsbooks at the three Detroit casinos have collected $3.4 million in revenue over the eight months.

There have been 243 days in the first eight months of 2023. That means the Detroit casinos average $3.5 million per day in slots and table games. The retail sportsbooks average just under $14,000 in revenue per day per day.

The total average daily revenue the three Detroit casinos have collectively taken in for 2023 is $3,527,174.

A closer look at Detroit casino tax revenue

Tax revenue is also an important aspect of this strike.

While the Detroit casinos are losing out in a lot of money, that also means the state and city of Detroit is losing out on tax revenue.

In 2023, the three Detroit casinos have generated $69.2 million in state tax revenue through slots, table games and poker. That also has generated $109.6 million in city of Detroit tax revenue.

Sports betting has led to $221,513 in state tax revenue and $270,738 in city of Detroit tax revenue.

Collectively that is $69.4 million in state tax revenue from the three Detroit casinos. That averages out to $285,480 a day for 2023.

The city of Detroit tax revenue sits at $109.9 million for the year. That works out to an average of $452,191 per day.

Detroit casinos losing well over $1 million daily

Now that we know the base numbers these three casinos are making on average in 2023, we can start to approximate what they are losing during the strike.

The five unions that comprise the DCC represent 3,700 workers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of casino hotel employees in the Detroit Metro Area was 4,900 as of July of this year. That means the striking workers account for about 75% of the collective casino staff.

That doesn’t mean that casinos are operating at just 25%, however. The remaining staff available is being spread out differently to maximize what the casinos can offer.

Sources close to the Detroit casinos approximate that they are operating at about 50% of their full capacity.

Here’s what the numbers look like for the casino revenue and tax revenue based on key percentage marks.

Percentage RetainedAverage Daily RevenueAverage Daily
MI Tax Revenue
Average Daily
Detroit Tax Revenue
100%$3,527,174$285,480$452,191
75%$2,645,381$214,110$339,144
50%$1,763,587$142,740$226,096
25%$881,794$71,370$113,048

Michigan losing as much as $200,000 daily, Detroit as much as $320,000

What we can determine by these numbers and information is that the Detroit casinos are likely losing anywhere from $1.5-2.5 million in revenue a day as the strike continues.

That means the state is losing out on $120,000-202,000 in daily tax revenue. The city of Detroit is losing out on $190,000-$320,000 in daily tax revenue.

Clearly this strike is going to have an impact on the bottom line for the three casinos and the state. The impact will only be greater as it drags on.

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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