Gaming revenue at $76 million

Detroit casinos face 28.2% revenue drop in November due to strike, hitting lowest monthly total in years

Detroit's MotorCity Casino
Reading time 2:06 min

November 2023 dealt a significant blow to the three Detroit casinos as they grappled with a substantial dip in monthly aggregate revenue (AGR), reporting $79.1 million — a stark 28.2% decrease from the pre-strike monthly average of $105.9 million in 2023.

Comparatively, November's casino revenue of $76 million, comprising table games, slots, and the $3.1 million from retail sports betting, was the lowest for a full month since February 2001. In addition to marking the lowest full-month total in 22 years, it was nearly the lowest in the entire history of Detroit casinos, which opened in December 2000.

Despite being $5.7 million lower than October's total of $81.7 million, the outcome was considered somewhat favorable given the impact of the casino workers' strike, which affected more days in November than in October. This also represented a 23.9% drop from November 2022's gambling revenue of $99.9 million.

Casino workers at MGM Grand Detroit ratified a new contract with the employer in early December, bringing an end to a 47-day strike at the property. Two weeks before that, workers at MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greek Town also voted to end their 34-day strike.

Market shares for November were distributed as follows:

  • MGM: 39%
  • MotorCity: 34%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: 27%

Among the three, MGM Grand Detroit, which endured the entire month under the strike, still experienced the most significant revenue, reaching $30.6 million in November, which was 38.2% below the 2023 average before the strike. MotorCity Casino reported $24.7 million, compared to $25 million in October, while Hollywood Casino at Greektown increased its revenue from $19.4 million to $20.7 million.

Table games and slot revenue for November 2023 dropped by 23.9% compared to November 2022, with total monthly revenue 7% lower than October 2023. From January 1 through November 30, the Detroit casinos' table games and slots revenue decreased by 3.2% compared to the same period the previous year. The three casinos paid $6.2 million in gaming taxes to the State of Michigan in November, a decrease from $8.1 million in the same month last year.

Regarding retail sports betting, the three Detroit casinos reported a total retail sports betting handle of $15.3 million, with total gross receipts at $3.1 million for November. The casinos paid $116,769 in gaming taxes to the state during November and reported submitting $142,718 in wagering taxes to the City of Detroit based on retail sports betting revenue.

In October, fantasy contest operators reported total adjusted revenues of $2.7 million, paying taxes of $229,544. From January 1 through October 31, fantasy contest operators reported $19.5 million in aggregate fantasy contest adjusted revenues, paying $1.6 million in taxes.

Considering the average revenue of the three casinos in slots, table games, and sports betting, which was $106.5 million per month before the strike, the combined revenue in October and November was $82.8 million and $79.1 million, respectively.

This indicates a combined revenue loss of approximately $51.1 million during the strike, constituting 4.6% of the current $1.12 billion in combined gaming revenue for 2023. This setback may hinder the three casinos from surpassing the 2022 combined yearly revenue total of $1.28 billion.

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