The Michigan Gaming News Letter

Caesars Windsor to Open New Sportsbook on January 11th

Caesars Windsor announced on its website that a new full-service retail sportsbook will open in the casino on January 11th.  It will be located within the casino in front of Legends Sports Bar and will include 22 large screen televisions, a state-of-the-art sound system and dedicated seating for unparalleled views according to the casino operation. The sportsbook will have three betting windows and seven sports betting kiosks.

The casino offered a video sneak preview of the facility on its Twitter feed yesterday.

Odawa Online and TSG Authorized to Offer Multistate Internet Poker in Michigan

The Michigan Gaming Control Board released a press release on December 28th announcing that Michigan internet gaming operator Odawa Online and platform partner The Stars Group (“TSG”) have permission to launch multistate internet poker games in Michigan.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board granted approval Dec. 20, and New Jersey granted TSG Poker Stars permission on Dec. 23, to launch on January 1, 2023. Michigan players can now play with New Jersey players.

“Poker players in Michigan have anticipated eagerly the launch of multistate internet poker,” said Henry Williams, executive director, MGCB. “I congratulate the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and TSG Poker Stars for being the first operator and provider granted permission to launch multistate internet poker in Michigan.”

In April, Michigan asked to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, and Williams signed the agreement in May. Other MSIGA members include Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada. The agreement allows Odawa Online and TSG (Poker-Stars) to pool their Michigan players with players in the other jurisdictions in the agreement where TSG is licensed and authorized to operate.

Prior to the impending launch, all Michigan poker players could play online only against other players located in the state. The agreement allows authorized operators and providers to pool their Michigan players with players in the other jurisdictions where they are licensed and authorized to operate.

“A larger volume of players likely will result in more game options, more frequent games and larger tournament prizes,” Williams said.

In April, the MGCB published participation guidance for multistate poker on its website. The requirements broadly include:

  • Obtaining MGCB approval for anything new related to multijurisdictional poker, including technical security standards, games or platform modifications, remote gaming systems and game software.
  • Allowing MGCB staff to inspect any new data centers.
  • Licensing of new suppliers, including new platform providers, and registration of new vendors.
  • Licensing of certain new employees involved in the conduct of multistate poker.

Any Michigan licensed operator may partner with a platform provider to offer multijurisdictional poker. The operator and platform provider must meet MGCB requirements before the agency would approve launch.

Other operators and platform providers would need to obtain necessary approvals to introduce poker and to offer multijurisdictional games. Currently, MGM Grand Detroit with BetMGM and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians with World Series of Poker also are authorized poker providers in Michigan, but they are not yet authorized for multijurisdictional play.

Michigan Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Operators Report Combined $186.27 Million November Total Gross Receipts

As reported by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”), Michigan commercial and tribal internet casino gaming and sports betting operators reported a combined $186.27 million total gross receipts in November. November receipts decreased 2.1% when compared to last month’s results.

November internet gaming gross receipts were $145.43 million, an increase of 3.2% from $141 million reported in October 2022. Gross sports receipts totaled $40.84 million, decreasing 17% when compared with October’s 2022’s total of $49.2 million.

Combined total adjusted gross receipts of $156.57 million were reported for November, including $130.91 million from internet gaming and $25.66 million for internet sports betting. Total monthly internet gaming adjusted gross receipts increased by $4.2 million or 3.4% and internet sports betting adjusted gross receipts decreased by $ 6.1 million or 19.3% when compared to October 2022.

Compared with November 2021, this month’s internet gaming adjusted gross receipts increased 35.9% or $34.6 million, and internet sports betting adjusted gross sports betting receipts decreased $25.5% or $8.8 million.

Total internet sports betting handle was $480 million and declined a fractional 0.2% when compared with October 2022 results of $480.8 million.

The operators delivered $28.7 million in taxes and payments to the State of Michigan during November, with internet gaming taxes and fees contributing $27.1 million and internet sports betting taxes and fees contributing $1.6 million.

The three Detroit Casinos – MotorCity Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and Greektown Casino – reported city wagering taxes and municipal service fees of $8.2 million, with internet gaming taxes and fees contributing $7.4 million and internet sports betting taxes and fees contributing $764,235 for the month of November.

Tribal operators reported making total payments of $3 million of wagering payments to the tribes’ governing bodies according to the MGCB.

For the first 11 months of 2022, aggregate internet gaming adjusted gross receipts totaled $1.3 billion, and aggregate internet sports betting adjusted gross receipts were $188.8 million.

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

During November, a total of 14 operators offered internet gaming. A total of 15 commercial and tribal operators offered internet sports betting. Details for each operator’s internet gaming and internet sports betting results are available and published on the MGCB website.

Detroit Casinos Report $101.8 Million November Aggregate Revenue

According to the November revenues released by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”), the three Detroit casinos reported $101.8 million in monthly aggregate revenue in November. Table games and slots generated $99.9 million in revenue, and retail sports betting generated $1.9 million in revenue.

The October market shares were:

  • MGM, 47%
  • MotorCity, 30%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, 23%

Monthly revenue for table games and slots declined 3.8% when compared to November 2021 results.  November revenue also fell a fractional 0.8% from October 2022 results.  Through November 30, 2022, table games and slot revenue fell 0.6% when compared with the same ten-month period last year.

When compared with November 2021, monthly gaming revenue results were:

  • MGM, $46.7 million, down 3.3%
  • MotorCity, $30 million, down 9.1%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $23.2 million, up 2.9%

The three Detroit casinos paid $8.1 million in gaming taxes to the State of Michigan, compared to $8.4 million for the same period last year.  The casinos also reported submitting $12.4 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the City of Detroit in November.

Retail sports betting qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR) for November declined 57% when compared with November 2021 results. Monthly QAGR was also down 11.1% from October 2022 results. The Detroit casinos reported total retail sports betting handle of $18,136,969, and total gross receipts were $1.9 million.

November QAGR by property were:

  • MGM, $807,913
  • MotorCity, $741,222
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $313,884

The three Detroit casinos reported submitting taxes on retail sports betting in the amounts of $70,422 to the State of Michigan and $86,071 to the City of Detroit during for November 2022.

Year to date thru November 30, aggregate retail sports betting QAGR results were:

  • MGM, $5.5 million
  • MotorCity, $5 million
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $6.7 million

Fantasy contest operators reported total adjusted revenues of $1.8 million and paid taxes of $149,075 during October 2022.

Fantasy contest operators reported aggregated total adjusted revenues of $13 million and paid taxes of $1.1 million to the state through the first ten months of 2022.

Michigan Court Awards Developers $88 Million in Damages in Failed Casino Efforts Case

On Tuesday of this week the Ingham County Circuit Court awarded two development groups (JLLJ Development, LLC and Lansing Future Development II, LLC) with damages totaling in excess of $88 Million against the Kewadin Casinos Gaming Authority as first reported by the excellent blog Turtle Talk.   JLLJ Development LLC had funded the Gaming Authority’s efforts to develop a casino in New Boston, near the Detroit Metro Airport and Lansing Future Development II, LLC had funded efforts to develop a Lansing casino.   With regard to both proposed casino developments, the Gaming Authority was unsuccessful at the federal level in getting the land taken into trust which would have permitted the development of casinos.   A complete copy of the Court’s Order is available at the Turtle Talk Blog website, together with links to historical documents related to the case.

In the state court proceedings, the Gaming Authority had argued that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case, and the Gaming Authority had also unsuccessfully attempted to remove the proceedings to federal court.  The Gaming Authority further argued that nonrecourse provisions in the relevant agreements provided that payment could only come from the profits of the casinos.   The Court rejected the nonrecourse argument, noting that several additional contractual provisions appeared to conflict with the nonrecourse provision and that the only way to read the contractual provisions under the document as a whole was to allow enforcement of the other provisions.    Together the two development groups had loaned the Gaming Authority in excess of $9 million originally.

The Gaming Authority has the right to appeal a final judgment of the Circuit Court once entered.

Tecumseh Named New CEO At FireKeepers Casino

Frank Tecumseh, who has served as Vice President of Human Resources since 2014, has been named CEO of FireKeepers Casino Hotel, as announced by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (“NHBP”) Tribal Council Chairperson, Jamie Stuck.

Tecumseh, a Member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, began his casino career at Prairie Band Casino Resort, spending a decade in Human Resources leadership before accepting the Vice President role at FireKeepers.  A press release issued by the casino notes:

“With more than 20 years of Human Resources experience, he has a proven track record of executing strategic initiatives, building high performing teams and programs that have enhanced casino operations.”

“Frank brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership with him to this position,” stated Chairperson Stuck. “He has been instrumental in FireKeepers recent achievements, and we are confident that with his communication and leadership skills, the team will build upon those successes ensuring that FireKeepers remains the casino, hotel and employer of choice.”

Tecumseh is actively serving as the Board President for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Entertainment Corporation, he also serves on the Southwest Michigan Workforce Development Committee, and the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Gaming Committee.

“It is an honor to have been selected to serve as the leader of the FireKeepers Team and to continue to serve NHBP in this position,” stated Tecumseh. “I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to lead this talented team as we continue to innovate and transform within the ever-changing gaming industry.”

Tecumseh has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, and an MBA from Baker University.