The Michigan Gaming News Letter

Michigan Regulator Unanimously Votes to Renew Detroit Casinos’ Licenses

On August 15, 2023, during their regularly scheduled public meeting, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) unanimously voted to approve the one-year renewal of the licenses for the three authorized Detroit casinos—MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown.

“Renewing a casino license reflects an ongoing commitment to operate a reputable and responsible establishment. It signifies a dedication to maintaining high standards of quality, security, and fair play within the industry. The renewal of these licenses is validation of the casinos’ commitment to operating as responsible and valued corporate citizens within Michigan that contribute positively to the state’s gambling industry while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all patrons,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said.

The Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act established the casino license application process and the information applicants must share with the MGCB.

The three Detroit casinos would each be eligible for license renewals again in August 2024.


Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Elects New Tribal Council Members

In a press release issued this week by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the newly elected Tribal Council Members were sworn in during a ceremony on Saturday, August 12, 2023.  Andrew Bennett, John M. Morseau, and Victor Warren were elected to Member At Large positions, and Dr. Alex Wesaw was elected Treasurer.

The Pokagon Tribal Council governs the sovereignty of the Pokagon Band and contains 11 members who are elected by Pokagon Citizens to staggered, three-year terms.  Any adult Pokagon Citizen can run for Tribal Council.  Within the Tribal Council, the executive officers include positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.  Pokagon Tribal Council Members also serve on the Pokagon Gaming Authority, which oversees the Pokagon Band’s Four Winds Casinos.

“On behalf of our current Tribal Council and more than 6,000 Pokagon Citizens, I would like to personally welcome our newly elected members.  We have a mix of returning members, as well as a first-time member, all of which will contribute to a very productive Council.  I look forward to working closely with everyone to achieve our goals, and I would also like to sincerely thank our outgoing Members At Large, Brandon Rapp and Steve Winchester, for their service to our Tribal Council and our Nation,“ said Rebecca Richards, Chairwoman of the Pokagon Band Tribal Council.

Other members of the 11-member Tribal Council continuing in their terms include: Chairwoman Rebecca Richards; Vice Chairman, Gary Morseau Sr.; Secretary, Sam Morseau; Member At Large, Rhonda Keene; Member At Large, Mark Parrish; and Member At Large, Mark Topash; and Elders Representative, Barbara Ann Warren.


Detroit Casinos Report $107.2 Million in 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 $106.7 million in revenue, and retail sports betting yielded $447,543.

The July market shares were:

  • MGM, 47%
  • MotorCity, 29%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, 24%


Monthly revenue for table games and slots rose 4.8% when compared to June 2023 results and increased 0.7% when compared to July 2022 results.

When compared with July 2022, monthly gaming revenue results were:

  • MGM, $50.0. million, decrease of 2.4%
  • MotorCity, $31.4 million, decrease of 10.0%
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $25.3 million, increase of 27.5%


The three Detroit casinos paid $8.65 million in gaming taxes to the State of Michigan, compared to $8.58 million for the same month last year.  The casinos also reported submitting $12.7 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the City of Detroit in July.

The three Detroit casinos reported $7.96 million in total sports betting handle and total gross receipts yielded a negative $485,763. Retail sports betting qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR) reported for July were up $868,951 compared to June 2023. Monthly QAGR fell by 62.0% when compared to July 2022.

July QAGR by property were:

  • MGM, $121,017
  • MotorCity, negative ($40,723)
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $397,249


The three Detroit casinos reported submitting taxes on retail sports betting in the amounts of $19,590 to the State of Michigan, and $23,944 to the City of Detroit for July 2023.

In addition to reporting revenue from the three Detroit casinos, the MGCB released revenue numbers from fantasy contest operators.  Fantasy contest operators reported total adjusted revenues of $1.4 million and paid taxes of $117,117 during June 2023.

Top revenue generators were:

  • PrizePicks, $837,427.41
  • DraftKings, $360,531.19
  • FanDuel, $139,690.15


For the first 6 months of 2023, fantasy contest operators reported $12.1 million in aggregate fantasy contest adjusted revenues and paid $1 million in taxes.


AGA Announces Gaming Hall of Fame Class of 2023

The American Gaming Association (AGA) announced the Gaming Hall of Fame Class of 2023, honoring four leaders for their significant contributions to the industry:

  • Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation
  • Robert Miodunski, Former CEO, American Gaming Systems; Former President & CEO, Alliance Gaming and President, Bally Gaming
  • Jim Murren, Former Chairman and CEO, MGM Resorts International
  • Ellen Whittemore, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Wynn Resorts


“This year’s Gaming Hall of Fame class enshrines industry leaders that have positively transformed businesses and communities through their contributions to gaming. From leading casino and supplier operations to advancing industry regulation and tribal gaming, Bill, Ellen, Jim and Robert’s far-reaching impacts on gaming are indelible—and undoubtedly worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller.

Since 1989, the Gaming Hall of Fame has recognized gaming legends, pioneers and business leaders for their lasting impact on the industry. The Class of 2023 will be honored during an invitation-only induction ceremony at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas this October.

“The Gaming Hall of Fame honors the diverse ways gaming leaders elevate our industry. This year’s class epitomizes this principle, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at G2E 2023,” said AGA Chairman of the Board & Hard Rock International Chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen.

Hall of Fame honorees are selected by an independent panel of gaming executives.


Quarterly Gaming Revenue Again Surpasses $16 Billion

According to a press release issued by the American Gaming Association (“AGA”), United States commercial gaming continued it’s consecutive quarterly revenue growth, hitting a Q2 record of $16.07 billion based upon the AGA’s  Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker. United States commercial gaming revenue growth slowed significantly in the second quarter compared to the more than 16% annual growth in Q1. Despite the deceleration rate in growth, nationwide gaming revenue is up 8.3% year over year in Q2, surpassing $16 billion for the second consecutive quarter, making H1 2023 the commercial gaming industry’s strongest half ever.  The $32.71 billion in commercial gaming revenue generated in the first half of 2023 is 11.9% ahead of the same period last year.  This resulted in an estimated $7.28 billion in direct gaming tax revenue for state and local governments through the first six months of the year, an indication of the industry’s strong performance.

“While commercial gaming is on track for an unprecedented third consecutive year of record revenue, the lasting impact we’re making on our communities through this record growth is even more impressive,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller.

While land-based gaming continues to account for more than three-quarters of total commercial revenue, the industry’s year-over-year growth is being driven by the online sports betting and iGaming sectors.

Q2 revenue from land-based slots, table games and retail sports betting totaled $12.38 billion, a slight increase (+0.9%) compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, revenue from online gaming rose 43.1% year-over-year in Q2 to $3.68 billion, driven in part by the introduction of mobile sports betting in Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts and Ohio within the past year.

Combined online and land-based sports betting revenue totaled $2.3 billion in Q2 2023, an industry record for any second quarter and a 56.6% year-over-year increase.

Across the country, 23 of 34 commercial gaming jurisdictions that were operational one year ago saw increased Q2 revenue from 2022.

“These results are a clear indication that our post-pandemic recovery wasn’t a fluke: the gaming sector continues to thrive, and when we do well, our communities do well,” continued Miller. “To sustain this momentum, the AGA will continue enlisting more allies in our fight against the illegal market, bolstering responsible gaming, and building a business environment that allows our innovative industry to bring world-class entertainment to adults across America.”