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.

Playtech Announces Simultaneous Live Casino Launch in Michigan and New Jersey

Computer Code Wallpaper, Laptop Displaying Poker Cards

Playtech PLC said on Friday that it has rolled out Live Casino facilities in Michigan and New Jersey. The simultaneous launch comes after the Isle of Man-based company received its approvals from both the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The dual launch represents Playtech’s first foray in the United States iGaming market. Playtech is considered as the largest live studio gaming operator in Europe and Asia. It comes less than one week after Elys Game Technology reached an agreement with Playtech to have the latter offer its iGaming products in Italy under the Newgioco brand.

Dual Roll-out

Playtech’s dual roll out was done in collaboration with Parx Interactive in Michigan and Bet365 in New Jersey.

In the Wolverine State, Playtech’s partnership with Parx is under the “Play Gun Lake” brand as Parx is the gaming partner of the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi Indians. The games originate from a Southfield, Michigan Studio just outside of Detroit.

Meanwhile, Playtech is the provider of live casino games for longtime partner Bet365 in New Jersey. Bet365 operates as one of the skins for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The studio for the Garden State games is located in Atlantic City.

Landmark Moment for Playtech’s Expansion in the United States

According to Playtech Live Casino CEO Edo Haitin, the concurrent rollout is a landmark moment for the company’s expansion in the United States, as it is something that even Playtech had never done before. Haitin added that Playtech’s vision and drive for growth has been well-received by the local communities.

The CEO also added that he believes that his company will be attractive to U.S. users because of its ability to develop specialized gameplay experiences tailor-made for American bettors. Playtech said it will offer its Quantum Roulette Arcade in both states, modifying the game for the U.S. market. Meanwhile, Playtech said it will offer its “All Bets Blackjack” in Michigan. The game’s scalable platform will allow an unlimited number of players to play in the same game.

Although sports betting has taken off in the United States, iGaming has not been as popular and isn’t available in as many states as sports wagering. Besides Michigan and New Jersey, the only other states to offer legalized online casinos are Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Detroit Casinos Report Record-Breaking $1.454 Billion in Revenue for 2019

MGM Grand Detroit CasinoDetroit’s three casinos set a record for adjusted gross revenue last year, earning $1.454 billion in 2019. According to the state, that amount tops the record $1.444 billion set in 2018, or a $10 million increase in revenue. Those three casinos are MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and the Greektown. It was record-breaking years for both MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino Hotel.

This record casino revenue is also good news for the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. The state saw just over $117.8 million in gaming taxes in 2019. This number was $800,000 more than what they accrued the previous year. Detroit was paid $184.2 million in wagering taxes and development agreements, compared to $182.9 million in 2018.

Slices of the Billion-Dollar Pie

With nearly 43% market share in 2019, MGM Grand Detroit blazed the trail in the Motor City. The casino made $623.5 million in revenue, 0.7% more than its record the year prior, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

MotorCity Casino Hotel took the second-largest portion at 34% market share. Its revenue was $493.6 million, which is about 0.8% higher than the record it had set in 2018. And while MotorCity was in second place, the property still experienced year-over-year revenue growth on its way to record turnover.

The rest was from Greektown, which had revenue of $337.2 million and covered about 23% of the market share. That was up 0.6% from the previous year but fell short of its $352.8 million record in 2011, when the three casinos achieved a then-record of $1.4 billion.

Each casino saw a year-over-year uptick in fourth quarter revenue in 2019. Greektown’s increased 3.4% to $87.1 million, MotorCity’s rose 2.9% to $123.4 million and MGM’s ticked up 0.2% to $157.2 million.

MGM Grand Detroit Opens ‘Moneyline’ as a Money Move

The MGM Grand opened their new sports lounge, Moneyline, last October to position themselves on the future of sports betting in the state.

They designed Moneyline Sports Lounge to look and feel like a sports book you would see in Las Vegas. They did this to bring the Vegas experience to Detroit, and while sports gaming isn’t an option right now, that may not be the case for much longer.

Michigan house representative Brandt Iden has been pushing for legislative changes in sports betting for years. His efforts will go a long way when Moneyline will be able to achieve its full potential, as a Sports Book taking wagers for gamblers legally.

This was another smart, forward-thinking move for the industry-leading MGM Grand, one that if coupled with the legalization of sports betting, will undoubtedly garner in an even higher increase of revenue for the year.

A Good Year on the Horizon, Possibly

Michigan approved sports betting last December, and online and mobile wagering are part of that package.

Industry observers are divided on exactly when the sports betting will be ready for public consumption in the state. Some of the more ambitious timelines indicate its availability in the spring, sometimes after March Madness. Some of the more realistic estimates indicate that it could likely take all of 2020 for Michigan to get the sports betting bill ready.

But if sports betting in the state becomes available sooner rather than later, then Michigan is expected to see over $19 million in annual revenue solely from sports wagering.

Michigan’s Islands Resort & Casino Approves $30 Million Renovation

Island-CasinoOn Thursday, the Hannahville Indian Community Tribal Council granted approval to pave the way for the Island Resort & Casino in Michigan to begin a sizable renovation. The property will spend $30 million to expand the resort property by adding 11 stories to the Palm Tower. The top floor of the property will feature a brand-new restaurant as well as an expansive meeting space.

The hotel will also get a 140-room expansion on top of the 300 rooms that already exist. Aa water park and a swimming pool will also be built adjacent to the hotel. The casino and hotel property has been in need of expansion for quite some time given how many people visit the resort on a yearly basis.

More Space in High Demand

Tony Mancilla, the general manager of Island Resort & Casino, told Marquette local TV stadion WLUC:

“We have a high demand. We sold out 95 percent of our rooms every day of the summer, and on the weekends, we have waiting lists anywhere up to 200 people, so we have a high demand for the rooms.”

The property attracts casino gamblers, convention attendees as well as golfers.

Quintus 3D, an architectural planning firm from Wisconsin, is set to provide designs and engineering proposals in the coming weeks. Quintus 3D has previously designed the property’s Drift Spa, retail space and hotel lobby. The company is known to work with several Indian tribes all over the United States.

Michigan-based Gundlach Champion will oversee construction at the property. Gundlach Champion is also familiar with the property after having built the Island hotel’s Sun Tower as well as the casino expansion back in 1998. The designing, engineering and construction of the expansion is expected to begin in the next few months. Construction is slated to get underway in June, and the new features are expected to open at some point in 2021.

The casino’s current gaming floor includes a casino occupying nearly 409,000 square feet of space with over 1,200 games. There are countless slot machines as well as a poker room, bingo, blackjack, craps and roulette. The property is also home to an entertainment venue featuring over 1,300 seats.

Sports Betting On the Way in Michigan?

The new expansion is not expected to account for the possibility of the legalization of sports betting. However, the FireKeepers Casino in nearby Battle Creek will soon feature sports betting. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, which runs the casino, has already partnered with Scientific Games Corporation in order to provide sportsbook services.

In December, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer officially signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act. The new legislation grants the Michigan Gaming Control Board the ability to hand out sports betting licenses to the state’s Indian tribal casinos. 3 commercial casinos located in the Detroit metro area will also be able to provide sports betting services.

At the time the bill was signed into law, Michigan became the 20th state in the US to pass a law legalizing sports betting. Those licenses will cost $100,000, and they can be renewed on a yearly basis for $50,000. Tribal sportsbooks will be taxed by the state at a rate of 8.4 percent, while the commercial casinos in Detroit will be taxed 11.75 percent. Detroit has a mandatory 3.25 percent add-on tax that applies to any and all forms of gambling.

The legalization of sports betting is expected to generate about $19 million in revenue for Michigan, according to estimates.

$100 Million Michigan Casino Expansion is Now Underway

States around the country are working hard to update their casino industries. Michigan, which is home to many Native American tribal casinos, is looking at plans to earn more revenue from its gambling market. This week, the Gun Lake Tribe officially got started on its $100 million Michigan casino expansion project.Gun Lake Casino Logo

It’s exciting news for gambling fans in the Western Michigan area. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at Michigan’s gambling industry. We’ll also talk about what the Gun Lake Tribe has planned for its casino. Let’s get started!

Michigan’s Casino Industry in a Nutshell

Michigan isn’t typically thought of as a US gambling hub, but perhaps it should be. There are a huge number of gambling venues in this state, many of which are full-blown casino-resorts. It’s clear that lawmakers are investing in this industry and want to earn as much money in taxes as possible.

In the 1980s, state officials began allowing Native American tribes to start operating limited gambling venues. At first, these “casinos” could only offer players games such as Keno and bingo. In 1996, lawmakers decided it was time to legalize full-scale casino gambling.

Michigan officially decided to make commercial casinos legal that year. Plans were approved to allow three casinos in downtown Detroit. In 1999, the first of these casinos opened its doors to the public.

As we’ve already mentioned, there are now many incredible casino gambling establishments in this state.  The Gun Lake Tribe has been discussing plans to expand its casino for years. Now, this expansion project is officially underway.

Gun Lake Tribe’s $100 Michigan Casino Expansion Begins

The Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, MI, is an extremely popular venue for gamblers in the western area of the state. Unfortunately, it’s become a little outdated over the years. An increase in nearby competition has also contributed to the casino generating less revenue.

This week, officials within the Gun Lake Tribe confirmed that their $100 million Michigan casino expansion is officially underway. According to the tribe, it will add about 76,000 square feet of gaming space to the casino floor. More than 2,000 slot machines, 47 table games, and a high-limit room are also being added.

Tribal Chairman Bob Peters commented on the new plans to the media this weekend.

“We are proud of the effort of our team members that has driven the continued success of Gun Lake Casino and our Tribe’s contributions to Michigan’s economy in the last eight years,” he said. “These expansion plans allow us to build on these efforts and provide even more employment opportunities and increased economic impact in our local communities.”

This expansion will also double the size of the casino’s entertainment area. Hope is that it helps to bring in better shows to the venue.

Michigan Lawmakers Still Hesitant to Embrace Sports Betting

When PASPA was struck down in May of 2018, many analysts predicted that Michigan would be one of the first states to legalize this form of gambling. Sports betting legislation was introduced here, yet it’s failed to be formally enacted.

The proposed bill would allow any holder of a casino license to “accept wagers on sporting events.” The state’s gaming board would be required to regulate this industry. The bill was briefly approved by the state’s legislature, yet Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed it.

It still seems likely that sports gambling will be made legal here at some point. Many of the states with legal sports betting markets are earning millions of dollars a month from this industry. As a state with so many legal casino gambling options, it would make no sense to continue prohibiting sports betting.

There’s also a chance that online casino gambling will become regulated here in the future. At the moment, there are a huge number of online casinos in MI that are available. Lawmakers attempted to regulate this industry earlier this year, yet once again, Governor Whitmer shut these plans down.

The new Michigan casino expansion is underway. We’ll need to wait and see how effective it is as drawing in more gamblers for the Gun Lake Tribe.

Stay tuned for more Michigan casino news over the next few months!