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Detroit commercial casinos post record $1.45bn in annual revenue


The three commercial casinos in Detroit, Michigan, posted a record $1.45bn in adjusted gross revenue for the 12 months to December 31, 2019.

Combined adjusted gross revenue for the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino was up 0.7% year-on-year, or a $10m improvement on 2018.

Detroit was boosted by record performances by the MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino, which both reported their highest annual adjusted gross revenue totals since opening in 1999.

MGM Grand Detroit posted $623.5m in revenue, up by 0.7% on $619.2m in the previous year, making it the leading venue in Detroit with a market share of 43%.

MotorCity saw a 0.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted gross revenue from $489.7m in 2018 to $493.6m last year, equating to a market share of 34%.

Meanwhile, Greektown Casino reported a 0.6% year-on-year increase in its adjusted gross revenue to $337.2m, which was short of its all-time annual revenue record of $352.8m that was set in 2011. Greektown accounted for 23% of total market revenue in 2019.

The three casinos paid a collective $117.8m in gaming taxes in 2019, up slightly from $117m in the previous year. The venues also reported making $184.2m in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the City of Detroit throughout 2019.

Publication of the figures comes after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last month ratified bills to legalize sports betting and online gaming in the state, paving the way for a roll-out this year.

Whitmer signed House Bill 4311, which creates the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, allowing the Michigan Gaming Control Board to issue new licenses for online and mobile casino games in the state.

The Governor also signed HB916, which creates the Lawful Sports Betting Act, allowing tribal and commercial casinos to offer over-the-counter and online sports betting, taxed at 8.4% of gross revenue.

In addition, HB4308, the Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act, was signed into law to create a legal framework for fantasy sports contests in Michigan.

Since the bills were signed, both PointsBet and The Stars Group have signed a market access agreement with a Native American tribe for a path into Michigan’s regulated betting and igaming market.

The Stars Group agreed a deal with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians granting the operator first skin market access to operate real-money betting, poker and casino in the state, subject to license availability, state law and regulatory approvals. In return, the tribe will receive a share of revenue generated from the igaming offerings.

PointsBet also partnered the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. The 20-year agreement sets out that PointsBet will launch mobile and desktop sports betting offerings in the state, as well as a branded tribal product.

The PointsBet deal could also be expanded into the retail channel in future, with the operator in talks to operate a sportsbook at the tribe’s Northern Waters Casino Resort.