Detroit Casinos Pushing to Pre-COVID Revenue Levels
Casinos in Detroit, Michigan are nearing pre-COVID-19 revenue levels as visitors numbers continue to increase.
Across the United States, casino operators are trying to get back to normal. Most venues are open at 100% capacity but still have some COVID-19 protocols in place including social distancing and cleaning measures. Overall, casinos are seeing more business but the goal is to get back to revenue earnings before the pandemic began. For Detroit’s commercial casinos, that number may soon be reached.
The city saw $110.4 million in earnings for September, close to the business levels the casinos reached before the virus took hold. It seems that players are ready to be back at the slots and table games of the Motor City.
The state Gaming Control Board has reported that the MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown, and MotorCity casinos have seen a more than 21% increase in September when compared to last year. The numbers are good and when compared to August, it shows that the casinos are just under two percent from reaching the September 2019 revenue totals. Before the pandemic, the casinos generated $112.3 million in September. Slot machines and table games generated the bulk at $106.9 million while sports betting brought in $3.5 million.
The top earner for Detroit is MGM, with a 45% market share. The casino earned just over $48 million for the month. MotorCity was the next highest earner, generating $36.5 million. Greektown came in last at $22 million.
Last month was the closest the casinos in Detroit have come to matching 2019 earnings. It was not until late June that the venues were free of operating restrictions connected to the virus. The numbers are only expected to get better if the visitor numbers continue to increase.
Help from the Online Industry
Also helping the 2021 totals is the online industry. The state offers online casino games and just recently introduced mobile and online sports betting. The services kicked off at the beginning of the year, helping the brick-and-mortar venues to earn back some of what they lost in 2020.
The online services have been popular among players, particularly due to convenience and safety factor. Players do not have to leave home to place a bet, which helps to lower any remaining potential of catching COVID-19.
Back in August, the online gaming sector generated just over $97 million in earnings. Mobile sports betting providers earned an additional $15 million. If you combine this with the over $113 million the casinos in Detroit earned that month, the gross gaming revenues for August soar over the $226 million mark.
The September totals for online gaming are expected to be released later in the week. It is expected that the month will outdo the previous one based on the land-based earning totals. We shall see just how success the online gaming sector was once the data is revealed.
For now, Detroit casinos are ready to be back in business like they were before the pandemic. The casinos in the city rely on tourism and conventions to bring in revenues. Visitors help to support the casinos and the hotels of the city.
In the past, the city would see 19 million or so visitors a year, bringing around $5 billion in revenues. That number has dropped dramatically due to the pandemic. Last year, there were only just over 14 million visitors to the airport, far less than the more than 36 million from 2019.
Hopefully the city is on an upward trend and we will see more of the same when it comes to revenue reporting as the year comes to an end.