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AGA report: Michigan casinos worth $6.3bn annually to state


Michigan’s 27 combined commercial and tribal casinos have an annual economic impact of $6.3bn for the state, according to a new report from the American Gaming Association (AGA).

The venues also provide 37,911 jobs, paying annual wages of $2.1bn, as well as generating $1.3bn in state and local taxes, the report, launched as Detriot’s three commercial casinos prepare reopen following the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.

“The report shows how critical casino gaming is to Michigan’s economy, and consequently, how important gaming will be to the state’s economic resurgence,” the AGA said.

The AGA added that the closure of Michigan casinos from March until 5 August “deprived statewide and local governments $114.1m in gaming tax revenue”. Of this sum, $46.7m would have been earmarked for statewide education and $67.8m for local initiatives in Detroit. 

“Communities across Michigan rely on gaming for good jobs, partnership, and tax revenue,” the AGA explained. “The safe reopening of Michigan’s casinos is vital to getting the Great Lake State back on its feet.”

The report also examined the casino industry’s impact on nonprofits in the state. Gaming industry employees nationwide contribute more than 422,000 volunteer hours per year, while at MGM Grand Detroit, nearly 1,900 team members volunteered 28,000 hours of their time in the last seven years, it said. 

“Some of our biggest supporters have come from the gaming industry,” Gerry Brisson, president and chief executive of Gleaners Community Food Bank said. “It’s literally been hundreds, and it might even be thousands by now, of volunteers who have taken their time to give back to the community.”

Turning to tribal casinos, the report said that these were “helping thousands of Native American families, businesses, and communities prosper, diversify, and build for the future”.

It noted the example of FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, where a share of revenue goes towards public safety, infrastructure, parks, educational attainment and career pathways in the city.

Last month, the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced that the state’s three commercial casinos brought in a combined $299.2m in revenue, down 59.3%, for the first six months of 2020.

Although venues in Michigan may reopen tomorrow, they will be limited to just 15% of their original capacity.