The Michigan Gaming News Letter

Gun Lake Casino Breaks Ground on $300 Million Expansion Project

In a press release accompanying the announcement of the project in 2021, Gun Lake Casino emphasized its efforts to create new entertainment and resort experiences that make the Casino a one-of-a-kind resort destination. In addition to the 4-diamond hotel with luxury suites, the expansion will include a full-service spa and a new 137-seat restaurant. An accompanying “aquadome” will offer a fully enclosed glass domed space that functions as a resort-style pool by day and a nightlife entertainment destination by night, with the ability to transform from a tropical pool environment into a nightclub or banquet area.

“The [Gun Lake] Tribe remains steadfastly committed to reinvest in our collective future, for the benefit of tribal citizens, team members and the local community,” said Tribal Chairman Bob Peters. “This will provide even more employment opportunities and enhance Gun Lake Casino’s position as a tourism driver for western Michigan.”

With its 15-story 252-room hotel and 32,000 square-foot aquadome, the expansion is set to transform Gun Lake casino “into the entertainment destination of the Midwest,” according to Gun Lake Casino spokesperson Zach Harig.

Speaking to reporters after the groundbreaking, Sal Semola, CEO of Gun Lake Casino, noted that the expansion is projected to create a $650 million economic impact in the Grand Rapids and Southwest Michigan region. Gun Lake believes the addition of a luxury hotel and entertainment venues will enable the Casino to better compete with other Michigan casino-resorts.

“Not only does [the expansion] meet a current demand,” commented Semola, “but also it’s going to assure the financial sovereignty long-term of the tribe for not just today but future generations.”

Michigan Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Operators Report Combined $163.1 Million in April 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 $163.1 million total gross receipts in April. April receipts increased 0.6% when compared to March.

April internet gaming gross receipts set a record of $132.4 million, exceeding the previous record set in March 2022 of $131.67 million.  Gross sports betting receipts totaled $30.7 million.

Combined total adjusted gross receipts of $136 million were reported for April, including $119.3 million from internet gaming and $16.7 million for internet sports betting. Total monthly internet gaming adjusted gross receipts were 0.6% higher than March 2022, and internet sports betting adjusted gross receipts rose 13.9%.

Compared with April 2021, internet gaming adjusted gross receipts increased 34.3%, and internet sports betting adjusted gross receipts were 53.5% higher.

Total internet sports betting handle at $371.2 million was down by 17.8% compared with March 2022 results.

The operators delivered $25.2 million in taxes and payments to the State of Michigan during April, with internet gaming taxes and fees contributing $24.3 million and internet sports betting taxes and fees contributing $944,006.

The three Detroit Casinos – MotorCity Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and Greektown Casino – reported city wagering taxes and municipal service fees of $7.2 million, with internet gaming taxes and fees contributing $6.6 million and internet sports betting taxes and fees contributing $594,949 for the month of April.

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

For the first four months of 2022, aggregate internet gaming adjusted gross receipts totaled $457.6 million, and aggregate internet sports betting adjusted gross receipts were $46.6 million.

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

During April, 15 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.

AGA State of the States 2022 Report Reveals Record Commercial Gaming Revenue in 2021 

Earlier this month, the American Gaming Association (AGA) released its State of the States 2022 report. This annual report compiles key performance indicators of the financial condition in each commercial gaming jurisdiction in the United States to illustrate the financial performance of the industry as a whole in the previous year. In a companion article, the AGA highlighted various findings that reveal 2021 to be a record-setting year for the commercial gaming industry.

Leading the AGA’s findings, the report revealed that annual commercial gaming revenue in 2021 set a new record of $53.03 billion, a 21.5% increase from the previous high in 2019. In addition to land-based casino gaming, the growth of internet gaming and online sports betting contributed to 2021’s record results. Two new iGaming markets launched in 2021, contributing to the record $3.71 billion in revenue, a 138.9% year-over-year increase. Similarly, seven new sports betting markets opened in 2021. Revenue from commercial sports betting reached $4.33 billion in 2021, representing a 179.7% year-over-year increase.

The AGA emphasized that all jurisdictions with active commercial casino or sports betting operations realized an increase in gaming revenue when compared to 2020. Furthermore, 23 out of 43 commercial gaming jurisdictions reported record annual revenue in 2021, with several top gaming jurisdictions rebounding to their pre-pandemic revenue rankings.

The report also revealed record high tax revenue paid to state and local governments from commercial gaming. The industry generated $11.69 billion in direct gaming tax revenue, constituting a 75% increase from 2020 and a 15% increase from 2019.

“Our industry’s success goes beyond the bottom line and into communities across the country,” commented AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “The record state and local tax contributions fund vital services from infrastructure and education to healthcare and emergency services.”

The State of the States 2022 report can be accessed here. Also, the State of Play map, available here, offers an interactive illustration of the findings of the report on a state-by-state basis.

FireKeepers Sets New Mid-States Poker Tour Record with $2 Million Prize Pool 

According to a press release, FireKeepers Casino Hotel’s most recent Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) event set a new record for Midwest tour events, with a $2,260,100 prize pool generated from 2,330 entries, and a $252,090 top prize paid to four-time MSPT champion Dan Bekavac.

Satellites for the event began in March and attracted top poker players from across the country. The three-flight main event began on May 12 and concluded with 252 places paid out. The final table results are as follows

Final Table Results:

  1. Dan Dekavac – $252,090
  2. CJ Peake – $241,290
  3. Marquez Davis – $198,975
  4. Zinoviy Pelekh – $119,706
  5. Jonathan Johnson – $91,699
  6. Alex Oberlin – $72,275
  7. Timothy Mulroy – $56,465
  8. Ruben Delgado – $44,043
  9. Elliot Hebden – $35,008


“We are proud of our partnership with MSPT, as well as our ability to bring this tournament back to Michigan after the two-year hiatus,” commented FireKeepers Poker Manager Kelley Bailey. “We’re even more proud of the FireKeepers Team Members who continually provide great guest service bringing more and more players event after event.”

The next MSPT event is scheduled for October 13. Information about upcoming events and promotions at FireKeepers can be found here.