Detroit's three casinos combined to post a new record for adjusted gross revenue during 2019. And Michigan's largest city is poised to bring in even higher profits during 2020, as the state's regulated, legal sports betting program rolls out over the coming months.
According to the 2019 report filed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Detroit's three casinos combined for an adjusted gross revenue total of $1.45 billion last year. That beat last year's record-breaking $1.44 billion adjusted gross revenue campaign by about $10 million. It missed, however, the $1.46 billion projection the board made earlier this year after seeing the casinos were on pace after July to do better than 2018.
Though they missed the projection by just a little, the three casinos still broke the record and appear to be headed toward bigger numbers in 2020 as part of a larger gamimg scene.
All three casinos in Detroit reported higher adjusted gross revenue numbers over 2018.
MGM Grand reported $623.5 million for 2019, which was up from the $619.2 million reported in 2018. MotorCity Casino reported $493.6 million for 2019, which was up from the $489.7 million reported last year. Finally, Greektown Casino also grew from $335.2 million in 2018 to $337.2 million in 2019.
Moreover, the casinos should be able to rely on more revenue opportunities later this year, perhaps by spring, as Michigan's sports betting program is rolled out under the regulation of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The board is in the process of developing its sports betting rules in support of the law that was signed in December. It's likely that the three Detroit commercial casinos, as well as Michigan's tribal casinos, will have retail sports betting well before the rest of the state can place legal mobile sports bets.
According to The Detroit News, the Michigan Treasury Department estimates sports betting in the state will add $19 million in new revenue opportunities annually. During 2019, the three Detroit casinos contributed $117.8 million in gaming taxes to the state. They also contributed $184.2 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments made to the city of Detroit.
Those numbers should go up even higher when safe, legal and regulated sports betting is finally offered at the casinos. That should especially be true during the 2020 football season, which begins in September and goes through the end of the year.
While Michigan is expected to begin taking bets at retail locations by the time the pigskin starts flying around in the fall, the regulatory body will probably need the rest of 2020 to develop its rules and procedures for online sportsbooks. Detroit's casinos, however, could be in position to take legal sports bets by the time the NCAA Basketball Tournament begins in March. That would be another reason to expect those casinos to enjoy another stellar year in 2020.