Detroit casinos struggling at 15% capacity, pray for online options –

Detroit’s commercial casinos enjoyed a modest gaming revenue rise in September despite lingering pandemic restrictions, while praying for the swift arrival of online gambling options.

Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) show Detroit’s three commercial casino operators generated combined revenue of $87.9m in September, 26.8% better than August’s total but down 21.7% from September 2019’s result.

However, considering Detroit’s casinos are still operating at only 15% of their maximum capacity, being down only slightly more than one-fifth year-on-year is impressive. For the year-to-date, the city’s gaming revenue is off 58% from the first nine months of 2019.

MGM Resorts’ MGM Grand Detroit reported revenue of $36.1m in September, down 22.3% year-on-year. MotorCity dropped 17.3% to $32.2m while Penn National Gaming’s Greektown took the biggest hit, falling 27.2% to $19.6m.

The casinos’ nascent retail sports betting operations generated combined revenue of $4.4m in September, more than twice August’s total, reflecting the return of NFL action. MGM claimed $2.1m of this haul, MotorCity took second with $1.55m and Greektown again brought up the rear with $722k.

With the ability to welcome customers to their retail operations constrained, Detroit’s casinos – as well as the state’s numerous tribal casino operators – are anxious for the state to approve its online betting, casino and poker rules. The state began accepting online license applications in July but governments aren’t exactly known for their speed.    

The MGCB held public hearings last month on their proposed online gambling regulations after