Detroit Casinos See Revenue Decline as Union Members Strike

Posted on: November 15, 2023, 07:30h. 

Last updated on: November 15, 2023, 02:43h.

Detroit’s three gaming properties saw an aggregate 18.3% monthly decline in revenue during October when union members went out on strike.

Workers strike at MotorCity Casino
Workers on the picket line at MotorCity Casino, pictured above. Detroit casinos are seeing lower revenue as the strike is heading into its second month. (Image: UAW)

The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported this week that each of the casinos saw declines in revenue during October, ranging from 16.5% to 20.2% compared to September data.

  • MGM Grand Detroit saw $37.3M in revenue last month, 16.5% lower than in September.
  • MotorCity Casino Hotel saw $25M, down 19.2%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown saw $19.4M, down 20.2%

Some 3,700 members of the Detroit Casino Council (DCC) went on strike on October 17. The work stoppage has been going on for close to a month.

Monthly Declines

The three casinos saw $82.8M in revenue last month. Some 81.7  million was from table games and slot machines, and $1.1M was from sports wagering.

Those aggregate totals are lower than each of the prior three months. The three casinos reported $99.9M in revenue during September, $104.5M during August, and $106.7M during July.

When comparing October 2023 to October 2022, revenue was also down at each gaming property.

  • MGM Grand decreased 19.6%
  • MotorCity decreased 22.8%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown decreased 11.7%

Meanwhile, retail sports betting qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR) dropped 28.6% in October 2023 when compared to September 2023.

Strike Updates

The unions and management have yet to agree on a new contract. Earlier this month, casino companies offered to reduce health care premiums to $40 from $60 and to increase wages by $1.95/hour during the contract’s first year. The unions want health care premiums kept at zero and wages raised by $3.25/hour for the first year.

In response to the strike, each of the casinos curtailed valet parking. MotorCity Casino also temporarily shuttered high-limit table games, first-floor slot machines, and poker rooms. The strike impacted restaurants and bars at Hollywood Casino at Greektown.

Union members are asking people not to enter the casinos. They also want players to avoid online gambling sites affiliated with the casinos, such as Fan Duel, ESPN BET, Hollywood iCasino, and BetMGM.

The unions making up the DCC include Unite Here Local 24, United Auto Workers, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters. Striking union members work in such fields as card dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets, and engineers.

Picketing Continues

Striking workers appear adamant they want a contract that meets their priorities, and as a result, the picketing continues.

I’m out here walking, and I’m tired,” Mary, a 72-year-old MotorCity Casino employee recently told Detroit TV station WJBK. “We’re not going back in there until we get what we want.”

In Las Vegas, members of the Culinary Union avoided a threatened strike last Friday after reaching tentative contracts with casino companies.