Detroit Casinos Down 7.3% To $125m In March

Detroit Casinos Down 7.3% To $125m In MarchThe Michigan Gaming Control Board has released it casino figures for March 2014, revealing Detroit’s three commercial casinos generated a combined $125 million in revenues, down 7.3% compared to the same month last year.
Breaking down the figures further, Greektown Casino reported the biggest fall in revenues for March, down 10% to $31.2 million; followed by MGM Grand Detroit down 6.6% to $50.8 million; then MotorCity Casino down 6.1% to $43 million.
For the first quarter of this year, Detroit’s casino industry is now down 5.9% to $331.6 million compared to the same period in 2013, with gaming experts blaming in part the frigid and snowy winter weather. As Alex Calderone from gaming management firm Fine Point Group, explains, “The winter was very, very brutal and gamblers aren’t inclined to leave their house and go to the casino in the frozen tundra.”
Overall for Q1 2014, Greektown Casino revenues are now 8.2% lower year-over-year; with MotorCity lower by 6.2% and MGM Grand Detroit by 4.3%. The figures, however, do not include revenues derived from non-gambling sources, such as food, beverage, and hotel stays.
At this rate, Detroit could break last year’s record annual decline when it suffered a 4.7% drop in revenues to $1.35 billion, down $67 million compared to 2012. For a city struggling to emerge from bankruptcy, overall casino tax revenues are now down from the $15 million per month it used to collect in 2009, to its present number of around $13 million.
The state of Michigan was not the only Midwestern state experiencing declines in March, however, with nearby Ohio, which has been drawing gamblers away from southeast Michigan, also posting a 5.6% fall in revenues to $79.5 million from $84 million a year earlier. Illinois hasn’t fared much better lately, either, and for first six months of the fiscal year has generated $10 million less revenue compared to the same period in 2013.
The dire situation may be compounded further soon, too, as Illinois ponders expanding its casino industry in order generate more revenue. However, not all experts are convinced more casinos are the answer, with some warning of cannibalization of its current market. As the Legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), Tom Swoik, explained:
“Revenues for casinos are going down ..We’re not creating any new gamblers. If this continues, there’s only so much gaming money going around. This only redistributes it.”

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