Detroit’s 2021 Casino Revenue Tops $1 Billion

No industry was immune to the struggles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, many sectors of the economy were able to rebound in 2021. The US gaming industry reached new heights last year. Many states across the country set new gaming revenue records. The casinos in Detroit, MI may not have set new records, but they came close. Michigan’s online casinos also put up big numbers in 2021.

The three casinos in Detroit reportedly generated a combined $1.26 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2021. Their total GGR fell short of breaking the record set in 2019. The pre-pandemic record of $1.45 billion will stand for at least another year. However, Detroit’s casinos doubled their GGR from 2020. The pandemic forced Detroit’s casinos to close, resulting in a measly $639 million in GGR.

Casinos had to deal with lower capacity limits for the first half of the year, but they were still able to top the billion-dollar GGR mark. Other casinos in Michigan also reported impressive numbers. GGR for December has yet to be reported. However, online operators, sportsbooks, and tribal casinos have already reported over $1 billion in GGR for 2021.

Comparing the 3 Detroit Casinos

The casino industry in Detroit centers around three major casino operations: the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Greektown Casino. On top of their normal casino operations, each company also runs a sportsbook. If they are not forced to limit their capacity again, the three casinos will likely break the GGR record in 2022.

MGM Grand Detroit was the first casino to open in the Motor City. It is the casino that earned the most GGR in 2021. In total, the MGM Grand Detroit pulled in $554 million in GGR. The casino itself boasts nearly 3,500 video gaming and slot machines. Players can also win money at one of the 143 tables of classic casino games.

The casino with the second-highest GGR in Detroit was the aptly named MotorCity Casino Hotel. In total, MotorCity earned $438.2 million in GGR. The casino offers over 2,800 games for players to choose from. MotorCity’s gaming floor spans over 100,000 square feet and has nearly 60 gaming tables and two dedicated poker rooms. They also operate a sportsbook through a partnership with FanDuel.

Detroit’s Greektown Casino-Hotel opened in 2000. Located in the city’s Greektown Historic District, it is the only gaming casino controlled by a Native American Tribe. In total, the Greektown Casino earned $274.5 million in GGR. Greektown offers guests over 3,000 slot machines and 61 gaming tables to choose from. They also offer online and sports betting options via an agreement with Barstool Sportsbook.

Other Michigan Gaming Revenue

Detroit is by far the biggest city in Michigan, but it is not the only one to feature casinos. In total, there are over 25 land-based casinos in the Great Lake State. However, residents of Michigan can also access online betting options. As with other states that allow it, online betting has been a huge hit in Michigan.

The revenue numbers from December are still rolling in, so the yearly totals are not complete. Despite being incomplete, Michigan’s online GGR numbers are still impressive. In the first 11 months of 2021, commercial iGaming operations generated $517.9 million in GGR. Michigan has allowed online betting options since 2019. They were also one of the first states to allow online sportsbooks. In 2021, online sports betting generated $125.1 million in GGR.

In addition to the 3 state-licensed casinos in Detroit, the state of Michigan also features a high number of Indian gaming casinos. In total, 12 federally recognized tribes operate more than two dozen casinos throughout the state. In total, Native American tribal operators earned $375.8 million from their casinos. They also generated $1.4 million from their sportsbooks.

Michigan Gaming Laws

Michigan’s gaming industry is regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). The current executive director of the MGCB, Henry Williams, started last his term last May. in general, the MGCB monitors gaming operations in Michigan and ensures the safety of bettors. Having a well-run gaming control board is especially important in a state like Michigan that allows most types of betting.

Bettors in Michigan can find just about any type of betting they could want. Players can place wagers in person at one of the state’s many casinos or online. They can also win real money from slot machines, table games, and sportsbooks. Horse race betting is also allowed in the Great Lakes State.

The MGCB oversees many types of betting in the state. They also ensure that bettors are not engaging in a handful of banned gambling types. Michigan gambling laws do not permit bettors to engage in registered bets or pool selling. Players are also not allowed to gamble in bonds, stocks, produce, or grain.

Like many US states, Michigan uses money from gambling taxes to fund many state programs, such as education. Licensed gaming operators pay an 8.1% tax on GGR to the state. They also pay a 10.9% tax to the city. In 2021, Detroit casinos paid $102.6 million to the state. The city itself received $160.8 million in taxes from casinos.


Detroit’s sports teams may be struggling, but its casino industry is back on track. US casinos took a massive hit in 2020 when they were forced to close. For many casinos, 2021 represented a chance to bounce back. The industry as a whole broke records last year. In Michigan, the three state-licensed casinos in Detroit came up just short of setting new records.

MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Greektown Casino combined for $1.26 billion in GGR last year. That is double their combined GGR from 2020, and just short of their $1.45 billion earned in 2019. The high GGR total is also good news for the city and the state. Detroit collected $160.8 million in taxes from the three casinos. Michigan made a total of $102.6 million from Detroit’s three casinos.

A big part of the return to success for the casinos is their ability to offer guests a wide range of betting options. Michigan gambling laws permit in-person and online betting options. Casinos can offer a variety of traditional slot machines and casino games, as well as sports betting. Online options helped the casinos navigate restrictions on their capacity that were in place for the first half of 2021. Moving forward, the future of Detroit’s three casinos appears to be bright.