The Michigan Gaming News Letter

Michigan Gaming Control Board Votes to Renew the Licenses of All Three Detroit Casinos  

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) issued a press release announcing it has unanimously voted to approve the one-year renewal of the licenses of all three Detroit casinos at its August meeting. Michigan law requires three votes in support of final determinations on applications for casino licenses.

Henry Williams, the MGCB executive director, said, “A casino license is a privilege granted by the State of Michigan. Board members and agency staff take seriously our responsibilities when reviewing this privilege each year as required by law.”

When determining to grant a casino license, the MGCB considers factors such as integrity, moral character, and reputation, business probity, financial ability and experience, compulsive gambling programs adopted and implemented by the casino, in addition to other required application information, according to the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act.

The law taxes licensed casinos at 18% on adjusted gross receipts. The City of Detroit receives 9.9%, while the state gets 8.1%. Additionally, the casinos pay an 8.4% tax on retail sports betting qualified adjusted gross receipts. The casinos also pay an annual fee to cover the state’s regulatory expenses.

Michigan law also sets standards for promoting responsible gaming. Licensed casinos are mandated to display the state’s toll-free gambling helpline number throughout the casino.


Detroit Casinos Report $107.2 Million July Aggregate Revenue

According to the July revenues released by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), the three Detroit casinos reported $107.2 million in monthly aggregate revenue in July. Table games and slots generated $105.9 million in revenue, and retail sports betting generated $1.3 million in revenue.

The July market shares were:

  • MGM, 48%
  • MotorCity, 33%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, 19%


Monthly revenue for table games and slots declined 8.4% when compared to July 2021 results and increased 7.9% when compared to June 2022 results.  Through July 31, 2022, table games and slot revenue rose 3% when compared with the same seven-month period last year.

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

  • MGM, $51.2 million, down 4.7%
  • MotorCity, $34.8 million, down 9.6%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $19.9 million, down 15%


The Detroit casinos paid $8.6 million in gaming taxes to the State of Michigan, compared to $9.4 million for the same period last year.  The casinos also reported submitting $12.6 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the City of Detroit in July.

Retail sports betting qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR) for July rose 3.85% to $1.3 million when compared with July 2021 results. Monthly QAGR was up by $809,532 from June 2022 results of $448,703. The Detroit casinos reported total retail sports betting handle of $18,860,759, and total gross receipts were $1.3 million.

July QAGR by casino was:

  • MGM, $807,710
  • MotorCity, $238,320
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $212,205


The Detroit casinos reported submitting taxes on retail sports betting in the amounts of $47,561 to the State of Michigan and $58,130 to the City of Detroit during for July 2022.

Year to date thru July 31, aggregate retail sports betting QAGR results were:

  • MGM, $2.3 million
  • MotorCity, $2.4 million
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $4.3 million


Fantasy contest operators reported total adjusted revenues of $1million and paid taxes of $84,602 during June 2022.


Gun Lake Casino Distributes $750,000 in Quarterly Bonuses to Its Team Members

In a press release, Gun Lake Casino (“GLC”) announced that GLC team members received over $750,000 in bonuses in its most recent distribution. GLC regularly distributes quarterly bonus incentive payments as a means of recognizing the role of each GLC team member. GLC has awarded over $22 million to team members through its bonus program since 2011. In addition to bonuses, GLC offers an industry-leading hourly wage and benefits package to further its commitment to being the best employer in West Michigan.

Sal Semola, the CEO of Gun Lake Casino, said, “Here at Gun Lake Casino, we have a genuine desire to care for the needs of our team members both professionally and in their personal lives. Our quarterly bonus program reflects the appreciation we have for our team, which is so integral to our core commitment of providing the best experience for our guests. Part of our mission is also to improve the quality of life in our community.”

For three consecutive years in a row, including this year, GLC was acknowledged as one of “West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by the National Association for Business Resources (“NABR”). Additionally, GLC was named the #1 casino in Revue Magazine’s “Best of the West” annual awards. Also, two of GLC’s dining venues debuted on Revue’s list since opening last September. Shkodé Chophouse was voted top 3 in the “New Restaurants” category, and CBK was voted top 3 in the “Beer Bar” category.

GLC is undergoing a current Phase 5 expansion that will feature a 15-story hotel tower with a spa and meeting space. The resort will feature a 32,000-square-foot entertainment dome with year-round 80-degree temperature and three separate swimming pools. As GLC continues to grow in size, there is a growth in opportunities for job seekers.

Gun Lake Casino employs over 1,100 team members, making it one of the largest employers in Allegan County. The many positions at Gun Lake Casino range from hourly to salary and from part-time to full-time. Team members receive a wide array of highly valued benefits.


Detroit Lions Announce Partnership with Soaring Eagle Casino

The Detroit Lions and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation Soaring Eagle Casino recently announced a multi-year sports betting partnership. As part of the sponsorship, the casino will sponsor “Inside the Den” television specials and the weekly “Inside the Pride” show plus “Power hour at Ford Field” on game days.  In an article published by GGB News, Soaring Eagle Gaming chief executive officer Melinda Coffin said: “Soaring Eagle Gaming is honored to join forces with the Detroit Lions in a multi-year partnership that will bring excitement to Lions with our support of “Power Hour,” our Fan Cave experience and gaming-related offers from all of our properties.”

Detroit Lions Director of Broadcasting Carl Moll added, “It’s exciting to not only debut the Lions TV Network in its latest iteration, but to kick it off with such an engaging and fan-focused partner as Soaring Eagle. We are looking forward to continuing to evolve our television content this season and beyond.”


Nominations Are Open for the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40

Emerging Leaders of Gaming (“ELG”) is now accepting nominations for it’s annual recognition program. Are there exceptional individuals in your organization under the age of 40 who have contributed above and beyond your expectations? Or do you believe that your abilities set you apart from your peers?

ELG was created to support young executives on the path to industry leadership through education, networking and other career development opportunities. ELG 40 under 40 honors 40 rising stars of gaming under the age of 40. ELG 40 under 40 is presented by Global Gaming Business and The Innovation Group and supported by IAGA and Regulatory Management Counselors. Click here for more information about Emerging leaders of Gaming or contact Allison McCoy for sponsorship opportunities.

To nominate yourself or someone else for ELG’s 40 under 40, please complete the forms here. Nominations are due August 15, 2022.

The deadline is fast approaching, get your nominations in now!