Michigan iGaming Revenue Continues to Grow, Dominate Detroit Casinos

Posted on: September 21, 2022, 10:17h. 

Last updated on: September 21, 2022, 02:53h.

Michigan iGaming operations began in late January 2021. Less than two years later, the internet casino websites are where the bulk of Michigan’s legal gambling money is being wagered.

Michigan iGaming revenue Detroit casinos
A boarded-up house in Brush Park is seen, with downtown Detroit in the background. With legal iGaming and online sports betting, Michigan residents no longer have to travel to one of the Detroit casinos or a tribal venue to gamble on a licensed slot machine and table game, or place a sports bet. (Image: Reuters)

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) revealed on Tuesday that iGaming operators won $130.9 million from online gamblers in August 2022. That’s up 3.4% from July and is 34% better than August 2021.

Mobile oddsmakers tacked on another $24 million to bring total August online gaming revenue to $154.9 million. The monthly win is 4.5% better than July when gross iGaming and online sports betting income totaled $148.2 million.

August 2022 was 37% better than August 2021, when iGaming and online sportsbooks jointly won $113.1 million. Michigan groups iGaming and online sports betting revenue together from commercial and tribal operators.

The online operations tethered to Detroit’s three casinos — MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown — were responsible for about $72.5 million of the $130.9 million iGaming income. The commercial operators’ online sportsbooks also led the way in sports betting revenue, with approximately $13.9 million of the $24 million hold.

Gamblers Move Online

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan lawmakers opted to join less than a handful of other states in legalizing and regulating online gambling. The importance of authorized iGaming sites proved its worth amid the coronavirus, as land-based casinos were forced to shut.

iGaming allowed casinos in states where such gambling is permitted to continue generating some revenue while their physical properties were closed due to the pandemic. But in 2022, it appears some of Michigan’s brick-and-mortar play has migrated permanently online.

January through August, gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the three Detroit casinos totaled $847.2 million this year. That’s down 13% — or about $127 million — from the same eight months in 2019, when MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity, and Hollywood Greektown won more than $974.2 million.

MGM Grand Detroit GGR is down 3% from 2019, MotorCity is down 18.5%, and Greektown is down almost 24%. MGM continues to control the three-casino market. MGM Grand Detroit was responsible for 48% of the market last month.

August 2022 was yet another month below 2019. The three casinos won a little more than $106.1 million last month. That’s $13.7 million less than the $119.8 million that the Detroit casinos won in August 2019.

Tax Benefit Widens

Michigan receives its share of the gaming money regardless of where it originates. The City of Detroit received $104.9 million in gaming taxes from the three casinos through August 2022. The state’s land-based gaming benefit is more than $68.6 million.

The state, which collects iGaming taxes from commercial and tribal-run online casinos, has received $183.3 million in internet gaming payments this year. Detroit, which takes a cut of the iGaming proceeds generated by the Detroit casinos, has received $49.6 million from online casinos from January through August.

Online sports betting taxes are less beneficial. The state received $6.7 million from online sportsbooks this year, while Detroit has taken in about $3.5 million.

Gaming taxes from all verticals total approximately $416.6 million through August 2022. During the same period in 2021, total taxes stood at $326.2 million.