Detroit casino revenue drops 18% in October as strike continues

Posted at 11:51 AM, Nov 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-14 18:14:16-05

Revenue for all three Detroit casinos dropped in October 2023, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board's monthly revenue information.

Related: Striking Detroit casino workers call for boycotts of online gambling platforms

It comes as a strike by five different unions representing 3,700 workers against MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel and Hollywood Casino at Greektown.

In all, the three Detroit casinos reported $82.8 million in monthly aggregate revenue. $81.7 million was generated from table games and slots, and $1.1 million from retail sports betting.

The breakdown of the revenue is below and comparison to October 2022.

  • MGM: $37.3 million, down 19.6%
  • MotorCity: $25 million, down 22.8%
  • Hollywood Casino: $19.4 million, down 11.7%

To compare, the three Detroit casinos reported $99.9 million in revenue in September, $104.5 million in August and $106.7 million in July.
In a month-to-month comparison, total revenue dropped more than 18% for all three casinos between September 2023 and October 2023.

The percentage drop for each casino in October compared to September is:

  • MGM: 16.5% drop
  • MotorCity: 19.2% drop
  • Hollywood: 20.2% drop

The revenue generated $6.6 million in gaming taxes paid to the State of Michigan, compared to $8.1 million in taxes paid to the state last month, and total city wagering tax fell from $12.3 million last month to $10 million this month to the City of Detroit.
The workers went on strike on Oct. 17 after agreements could not be reached. The Detroit Casino Council represents the 3,700 casino workers across five unions - UNITE HERE Local 24, United Auto Workers, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324 and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters.

Those unions represent most of the workers at the three casinos, including dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets, engineers and more. 99% of the union voted in favor of striking if a deal was not reached.

Workers have also called for boycotts of online betting and gambling as the strike continues.

Lisa Cuthrell has been a cook at the Hollywood Casino at Greektown for two years. Cuthrell says one of the things she thinks striking casino workers need more of is solidarity from the community.

“We need people to not cross our picket lines,” Cuthrell added. “We need people to stand strong with us.”

“If you’re doing it online, it’s the same as coming here,” Lisa Zezula said. “It’s like smacking us in the face.”