The Michigan Gaming News Letter

AGA Gaming CEO Outlook Index Shows Expected Industry Gains  

On April 20, 2022, the American Gaming Association (AGA) released the results of the Gaming CEO Outlook Index survey for the first quarter of 2022. The results illustrate a generally optimistic attitude about the gaming industry’s continued growth and recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. These positive responses, however, are countered by various obstacles that may impede further growth.

“Gaming executives are signaling confidence in [the industry’s] continued recovery that is in line with record-setting consumer demand for gaming,” noted AGA President and CEO Bill Miller.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents rated the current business situation in the industry as “good,” representing a thirteen percent increase from six months ago. Similarly, forty percent of the responding CEOs noted that they expect improvements in the gaming industry’s business landscape over the next two quarters, while thirteen percent of respondents anticipate that conditions will worsen. Gaming CEOs report supply chain issues, inflationary and interest rate concerns, and labor shortages as the most pressing obstacles to industry growth.

As further indication of projected gaming industry growth, seventy-nine percent of responding CEOs reported that they expect the rate of wage and benefit growth to increase over the next six months. Fifty percent of gaming CEOs expect the rate of hiring in the industry to increase in that same period.

More than fifty percent of gaming operators plan to increase investments in hotel facilities in the next twelve months. Also, one-third of gaming operators report plans to increase investments in slots and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.

Industry suppliers are confident in the growth of sales in the next six months. Seventy-one percent of respondents expect to increase the rate of their capital investment. Also, eighty-six percent of suppliers expect sales of gaming units for replacement use to increase, and one hundred percent of respondents anticipate increased sales of gaming units for new or expansion use.

The results of the survey also inform two distinct variables. The Current Conditions Index reflects the rate of casino gaming-related economic activity. At its current level of 93.5 in the first quarter of 2022, this Index denotes a slowing of economic activity when compared to the prior quarter.

The Future Conditions Index, measured at 101.1, indicates a prospective expansion of gaming-related economic activity over the next six months at a 1.1 percent annualized rate. This modest rate of growth signals a return to normal growth trends after the rapid industry expansion witnessed in response to pandemic-era low growth.

Responding to the results of the survey, Miller confirmed, “I’m optimistic that 2022 will see the return of a true sense of normalcy for gaming.”

You can review more detailed findings of the survey, including the methodology used to extract the results, here.

Michigan Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Operators Report Combined $162.15 Million in March Total Gross Receipt

As reported by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), Michigan commercial and tribal internet casino gaming and sports betting operators reported a combined $162.15 million total gross receipts in March. March receipts increased 11.6% when compared to last month.

March internet gaming gross receipts set a new record of $131.67 million, exceeding the previous record set in February 2022 of $122.8 million.  Gross sports receipts totaled $30.48 million.

Combined total adjusted gross receipts of $133.24 million were reported for March, including $118.58 million from internet gaming and $14.66 million  for internet sports betting. Total monthly internet gaming adjusted gross receipts increased to 7.3% higher than February 2022.

The operators delivered $24.7 million in taxes and payments to the State of Michigan during March, with internet gaming taxes and fees contributing $23.9 million and internet sports betting taxes and fees contributing $805,334.

The three Detroit Casinos – MotorCity Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and Greektown Casino – reported city wagering taxes and municipal service fees of $7 million, with internet gaming taxes and fees contributing $6.5 million and internet sports betting taxes and fees contributing $499,459.

Tribal operators reported making total payments of $2.7 million of wagering payments to the tribes’ governing bodies according to the MGCB.

When compared to March 2021 results, monthly internet gaming adjusted gross receipts were up 33.7% and internet sports betting adjusted gross saw a 22.8% decrease.

Internet gaming adjusted gross receipts totaled $338.3 million, and aggregate internet sports betting adjusted gross sports betting receipts were $29.9 million for the first quarter of 2022.

An online gaming and sports betting revenue distribution table is available on the agency’s website.

During March, 14 operators were authorized for one or both forms of online wagering. Details for each operator’s internet gaming and internet sports betting results are available in tables published on the MGCB website.

ICRG Announces Creation of New Advisory Council and Appointment of Members 

On April 20, 2022, the International Center for Responsible Gambling (ICRG) announced creation of a new Advisory Council and announced the appointment of four members. The Advisory Council seeks to guide the ICRG on critical issues regarding its research on gambling addiction and responsible gaming.

Advisory Council member Laurens Vosloo is the CEO of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Vosloo manages several facets of the tribal enterprise, including its government operations and the Yaamava’ Resort and Casino at San Manuel.

Trevor J. Croker will apply his experience as the CEO and Managing Director of Aristocrat Leisure Limited, the previous chairman of the American Gaming Association, and the director of the Australasian Gaming Council to his new role as a member of the ICRG Advisory Council.

Advisory Council member Bobby Soper is the current International President of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, a role in which he manages the company’s efforts in Asia. Also, Soper is the founder and owner of Sun Gaming & Hospitality, which offers advising services regarding resort finance, development, and operations for a variety of projects to resort operators, investors, private equity funds, regulatory bodies, banks, and developers

Ellen Whittemore will join the Advisory Council as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary at Wynn Resorts Ltd. Whittemore is also the chair of the Nevada Resort Association, Vice President of the International Association of Gaming Directors, a board member of Global Gaming Women, and a member of the executive committee of the American Gaming Association.

“We are deeply grateful to this esteemed group of highly respected leaders for joining as inaugural Advisory Council members, for sharing trends in the industry and most significantly, advising the ICRG on meeting the responsible gambling needs of the industry,” commented ICRG President Art Paikowsky.

National Council on Problem Gambling Announces New Director of Programs

In a press release issued April 21, 2022, the National Council on Problem Gambling (“NCPG”) announced the creation of its Director of Programs positions and appointed Jaime Costello to the role.  Ms. Costello will oversee planning, implementation, and evaluation of NCPG programs; support strategic planning efforts through consistent monitoring; and serve as a spokesperson for national problem gambling efforts.  Ms. Costello holds a Master of Public Health and joins the NCPG as an experienced addiction and public health professional with nearly 15 years of problem gambling field experience, most recently as the Bureau Director of Prevention and Training at the New York Council on Problem Gambling.

Mc. Costello noted: “NCPG has a unique position in the national conversation around problem gambling and responsible gambling, bringing all sectors together to create long-term change. I am excited to contribute to the organization’s efforts to modernize the National Problem Gambling Helpline and achieve other milestones outlined in the [National Football League Foundation] grant.”

“Jaime has had an exceptional career in problem gambling prevention and education. Her public health-centric mindset and organizational leadership skills make her ideally qualified for this position,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “We look forward to the growth of NCPG programs under Jaime’s unique combination of energy, thought leadership and experience.”