Michigan Retail Casino Revenue Drops In October Amid Strike

Michigan Retail Casino Revenue Drops In October Amid Strike
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It appears the Detroit casino strike is starting to have an impact on the bottom line for those companies.

The three brick-and-mortar casinos in the city — MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown — combined for $81,698,365 in total adjusted gross receipts in October, a month in which workers at all three facilities began a labor stoppage. They are demanding better pay and other concessions.

That was the lowest monthly total for Detroit casinos since 2020, when the casinos were either shut down or operating at greatly reduced capacity for much of the year because of restrictions related to limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Will Online Casinos See Dip?

It has yet to be seen whether the strike by many workers in the union (the Detroit Casino Council) will hit Michigan online casinos, which folks can access using their laptop, desktop or mobile devices. Those figures, as well as online sports wagering in October, have not been reported by the state as of Friday morning. All three casinos are operating, but with reduced staffing. The strike began Oct. 17.

MGM Grand Detroit led the way with a bit more than $37.3 million in total adjusted casino revenue for October, followed by MotorCity at just over $25 million and Greektown with nearly $19.36 million. The three facilities combined for $6.618 million in total state wagering tax and about $10.1 million in City of Detroit taxes.

Striking workers, in addition to asking people not to cross picket lines at the casinos, have also called for customers to boycott certain operators during the duration of the work stoppage. The union members, about 3,700 of them, are asking for higher pay, improved healthcare protection, plus more equitable work demands and increased job security.

Union Asks Users To Boycott Some Operators

The online casinos the union is asking Michiganders to skip during the strike are BetMGM Michigan Online Casino, which is paired with the MGM Grand Detroit; the FanDuel Michigan Online Casino (which is involved with the MotorCity Casino); plus two brands associated with Hollywood Casino at Greektown — the Hollywood iCasino and the newest online wagering option in the Great Lakes State, the ESPN BET Michigan Sportsbook.

ESPN BET launched its online casino and sports betting operation this week, with the app rebranding from Barstool after a deal with PENN Entertainment.

The retail sportsbooks in the state did report numbers for October and, unlike the iGaming figures, they seem to have been affected very little by the strike. The Michigan casinos combined for $18,119,028 last month, the highest figure this year, albeit a 23% decline from the $23.543 million in retail sports wagers in a year-over-year comparison with October 2022. Greektown drew about $7.5 million from in-person sports betting last month, followed by MotorCity ($5.95 million) and MGM Grand ($4.68 million).

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Jim Tomlin

Jim Tomlin writes and edits for BetMichigan.com. In 30 years as a journalist he has worked for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, Saturday Tradition, Saturday Down South and FanRag. He now lends his sports and gambling expertise to BetMichigan among other websites.

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