he Michigan Gaming Control Board reported on Wednesday that Detroit’s three casinos saw a 21% year-over-year drop in slot machines and table games revenues in their first full month back since reopening after the coronavirus shutdown.
That decline has blown a hole in the state and city of Detroit’s projections for casino tax revenues, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Overall, those gambling revenues are down 58% this year compared with last year at MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Greektown Casino-Hotel.
All three casinos closed March 16, and MotorCity and Greektown reopened to the general public Aug. 5 with 15% capacity restrictions and bans on poker, indoor smoking and self-serve buffets, followed by the MGM Grand on Aug. 7 with the same restrictions.
The slow business has also led to some permanent layoffs for casino workers.
The three casinos reported $87.9 million in gambling revenues for September, plus $4.4 million in adjusted gross receipts for sports betting. The casinos paid about $7.3 million in September in taxes to the state, down from $9.1 million in September 2019, and about $10.7 million in September wagering taxes, sports betting taxes, and development agreement payments to the city of Detroit.
The reported revenue figures do not include the casinos’ earnings from non-gaming activities such as food and beverage sales.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, casino wagering taxes were about 16% of Detroit’s general fund revenue and the city’s third-largest revenue source, after local income taxes and state revenue sharing payments.
The three casinos’ market shares in September were: