Detroit Earns $11m A Month In Casino Tax RevenuesJuly 29, 2013 1:47 pm
Back in 1996, Michigan voters authorized three casinos to be built in the City of Detroit and despite at the time opponents to legal gambling warning that it would destroy the city, the gaming taxes collected by the state are actually responsible for Detroit currently avoiding a total financial meltdown.
Gaming taxes collected for the MGM Grand Detroit Casino (photo), Greektown Casino and the MotorCity Casino was $99.3 million in 2010, which rose to $115.4 million in 2011, and this year is currently worth around $11 million each month. In actual fact, Detroit may have declared bankruptcy on July 19th, but in its declaration the municipality revealed that the taxes collected from its three casinos “is roughly the equivalent of 30 percent of the city’s total available cash on hand as of June 30.”
The casino industry has also provided employment for its 8,000 workers, while the $1.42 billion in gaming revenues generated in 2012 has helped channel additional investment into parts of downtown Detroit.
Furthermore, while Detroit’s declining auto industry has left the city owing $18 billion to its numerous creditors, Detroit’s casino and hotel industry would seem to be holding firm, with hotel industry tracking firm STR announcing that hotel occupancy rates in the metropolitan Detroit area were up from 47.5% in 2009 to 61.3% so far this year. Illustrating the point, MGM Grand Detroit President Steve Zanella recently explained that the venue hasn’t recorded a falloff in its convention business, and that its customers have remained loyal.
“We’re committed to the market and we’re committed to the community..The people we cater to know the story. We do not expect to see any business impact from the filing,” said Zanella.
Ironically, despite gambling opponents’ initial resistance to the casino industry in Detroit, it is actually those casinos which are now helping to keep Detroit on life support and from sinking into the mire further.