Detroit Casinos Rebound in March, Win Nearly $123.9M

Posted on: April 10, 2024, 11:13h. 

Last updated on: April 10, 2024, 12:01h.

Detroit casinos rebounded in March after experiencing year-over-year losses in the first two months to begin the year.

Detroit casinos gaming revenue MGM Grand
MGM Grand Detroit led the city’s three casinos in gross gaming revenue in March 2024. Along with MotorCity and Hollywood Greektown, Detroit casino win last month totaled about $123.9 million. (Image: Michigan Economic Development Corporation)

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) on Tuesday unveiled that the three commercial casinos in Detroit combined to win $123.86 million from players last month. It was the best March for the city casinos since 2019 when gross gaming revenue totaled $140.3 million.

MGM Grand Detroit led the way with GGR of approximately $57 million. The income is from slot machines, table games, and sports betting.

MGM’s March win represented a 4.1% improvement from March 2023. It’s also the casino’s best month this year.

MotorCity was second at nearly $38.9 million. MotorCity’s March numbers represented a 7.2% year-over-year increase. The casino is owned by Ilitch Holdings, the family conglomerate controlled by billionaire Marian Ilitch who co-founded Little Caesars with her late husband.

Hollywood Casino at Greektown was third at about $28 million. The casino run by Penn Entertainment saw its win slow 1.4% from a year ago.

Retail sports betting handle at the three casinos totaled $17.25 million. Hollywood’s ESPN Bet sportsbook led the way with sports betting revenue of $731,389. MotorCity’s FanDuel book was second at $539K, and MGM Grand’s BetMGM book was third at about $327,800.

March Madness

Detroit’s casino market needed a strong month. Casino revenue had a horrible start to the new year, as GGR plummeted more than 9% to just $94.4 million. Things were a bit better in February, but casino win remained down compared to 2023 at $104.6 million.

The year-over-year losses to begin 2024 were against 2023 in which casino win was down almost 3% from 2022. MGM, MotorCity, and Hollywood Greektown reported GGR of $1.22 billion last year, a 2.9% reduction from 2022.

March 2024 benefited from having more weekend days than March 2023. Last month included 10 Saturdays and Sundays, two more than in March 2023.

State taxes from the three brick-and-mortar casinos totaled about $400K more to $9.9 million. The City of Detroit additionally received $14.5 million, about $500K more than last year.

March helped but GGR for the first quarter remained 1.6% below the same three months in 2023.

iGaming Impact

Since 2021, Michigan has been home to legal iGaming, including online slots and interactive table games. The Detroit casinos don’t hold a monopoly on online gaming, as the state’s tribes that possess Class III gaming compacts can also partner with iGaming firms like DraftKings and Golden Nugget Online Gaming.

While Detroit casino win fell last year, iGaming operations set an annual record. Online slots and tables won $1.9 billion from remote players in 2023. Online sports betting, in which the tribes also participate, took $420.4 million from bettors.

March numbers for iGaming and online sports wagering will be released next week. Through two months, the online gaming platforms have made further gains on the record 2023 performance.

iGaming win in January and February totaled nearly $370 million. That’s 23% higher than January and February 2023, or about $68.8 million. iGaming sites linked to the three Detroit casinos accounted for about $200 million of the online slot and table revenue.