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Michigan betting revenue reaches $1.97m in August


Detroit’s three commercial casinos generated revenue of $69.3m in August, the first results reported since the properties reopened following four and a half months closed due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19), while sports betting’s contribution grew to $1.97m.

The properties were permitted to reopen from 5 August, but limited to 15% of their fire code capacity to avoid transmission of the virus. 

This had a knock-on effect on revenue, with the contribution from slots and table games falling 42.0% year-on-year, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s (MGCB) figures. 

This broke down to $28.6m from MGM Grand Detroit – a 46.0% decline from August 2019 – with revenue at MotorCity Casino down 37.5% to $25.0m, and Penn National’s Greektown Casino reporting a 41.5% drop in revenue to $15.7m. 

The venues paid total taxes of $5.6m to the state of Michigan, compared to $9.7m in the prior year, as well as $8.3m in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the city of Detroit for the month.

For sports betting, in what was effectively Michigan’s first extended period of legal wagering, players wagered $15.7m, with the three properties reporting adjusted gross receipts of $1.97m.

MGM Grand, with its BetMGM sportsbook, led the way with stakes of $7.6m, which after payouts and adjustments resulted in revenue of $932,601. 

It was followed by Greektown, which offers a sportsbook powered by Kambi, on handle of $2.9m – the lowest of the three venues – but revenue of $551,176. 

MotorCity, which has partnered FanDuel for legal wagering, followed in third, generating revenue of $493,275 from $5.3m in wagers.

The MGCB had previously reported $105,548 in sports betting revenue for the five days from 11 to 16 March. This marked the period from the launch of legal wagering to the Covid-19 shut-down. 

The state received $74,733 in retail sports betting taxes for August, while $91,340 in taxes were paid to the city of Detroit. 

While the state’s online betting and gaming market is not yet open for business, local stakeholders are confident that the market will launch in 2020, ahead of schedule, most likely in the fourth quarter of the year. The MGCB is already accepting licence applications for online operators and suppliers.