Detroit’s three casinos have hit it big this year, defying the predicted gradual decline of gambling revenues.
On July 8th, 2015 the Michigan Gaming Control Board released the records of the total revenues of this year so far, showing a 4.8% increase compared to this time last year.
In 2014 Detroit’s three casinos experienced a 1.2% drop in gambling earnings.
Many people believe that it was the spike in gas prices that led to the decrease last year. However, Jacob Miklojcik, a Lansing-based gaming consultant, believes that because the country’s average gas prices have dropped and the economy is improving, gambling revenues will continue to increase.
“The economy is doing better and you’ve got more disposable income because of gas prices. That shows up in how people spend their recreational money.”
According to GasBuddy.com, the price of gas last year in the area of Detroit was averaging $3.80 per gallon. Fuelgaugereport.com reports that the country’s average cost of gas today is $2.77 a gallon.
The recent figures do not actually indicate the real profits for the three casinos, according to Miklojcik. Grand giveaways and promotions do not necessarily boost their total revenues.
“If everyone had a big cash-back effort you’d see higher revenues, but that’s not profit gain,” he said.
The revenue report for the second quarter of 2015 is at a 4.3% increase compared to 2014’s second quarter.
To break down the numbers even further, MGM Grand Detroit led the positive results with $150.9 million, a 4.8% increase since this time last year. MotorCity Casino Hotel followed suit with $117.4 million, an impressive 5.4% increase since 2014. Lastly, Greektown Casino-Hotel brought in $82 million, with an increase of 2% compared to the second quarter of 2014.
Gaming taxes represent about 16% of Detroit’s total revenues, which is roughly $170 million. In 2014 Detroit exited bankruptcy and gained complete control over the income that gambling tax brings in, which had previously been used as collateral on the state’s debt.
The money gained from the gaming tax is used to fund a variety of fundamental services. Some of the services included are the police and anti-gang initiatives, economic development programs, and “other programs that are designed to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in the city.”