Detroit casinos feel brunt of strikes as October revenue tumbles

motor city casino detroit
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The three commercial casinos in Detroit, Michigan have reported significant declines in revenue in October amid a workers strike causing issues to the properties’ operations. 

Per the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s latest data, the three casinos made $82.8m in October trading, a fall of nearly 20% year-over-year. A similar decline has been felt in the casino’s revenue from September. 

It comes as workers walked out of the properties on October 17 as part of a dispute with the casino operators over pay and working conditions. Operators failed to meet their demands in negotiations for new contracts. 

The Detroit Casino Council, representing striking workers, states that it is seeking inflation-matching 20% pay rises and fairer working conditions after “sacrificing raises and shouldering heavier workloads so the industry could recover from the pandemic”. 

Workers have walked out of MotorCity Casino, Hollywood Casino at Greektown, and MGM Grand Detroit and have urged players to boycott the online partners of these properties. 

Breaking down the operator data, MGM Grand Detroit was the market leader with revenue of $37.3m, marking a decrease of 19.6% year-on-year from $46.4m. The property’s market share stayed consistent at 46%.

MotorCity Casino was in second place in the chart, making $25m last month, marking a downturn of 22.8% YoY. The MotorCity Casino had a market share of 31%.

Finally, Hollywood Casino at Greektown has 23% of the market making $19.4m, a decline of 11.7% YoY.

For their gaming operations, the venues paid out $10.1m in taxes to the City of Detroit and $6.6m in state taxes. This is down from $8.2m in October of 2022. 

On the sports betting side, operators took $18.1m in retail handle, while they made $1.1m in revenue from October trading. 

Meanwhile, the workers’ strike shows no signs of coming to an end as the workers escalate the dispute, calling for a boycott of the online partners of the three venues. These include FanDuel, ESPN BET, Hollywood iCasino, and BetMGM.

The Detroit Casino Council has gained the support of the Detroit City Council in the dispute, as council President Mary Sheffield called on operators to reach a fair resolution for working people.