Detroit casinos record first-half gross gaming revenues collapse

After being temporarily shuttered in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and the three casinos in Detroit have now reportedly announced first-half aggregated gross gaming revenues that are 59.3% lower year-on-year at just $299.2 million.

According to a Tuesday report from 7BALL The Detroit News newspaper citing official information from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the 400-room MGM Grand Detroit from MGM Resorts International saw its casino revenues for the six months to the end of June plummet by 40% year-on-year to $126.5 million. But, the situation was even worse for the nearby MotorCity Casino Hotel and Greektown Casino Hotel as their associated first-half takings purportedly plunged by a matching 41% to $102.6 million and $70.1 million respectively.

Duty dilemma:

The Detroit News reported that the coronavirus-induced drop in the casinos’ gaming revenues has also seriously impacted the amount of money the state and city have earned in tax. The three are now purportedly destined to hand over some $35.6 million, which is far below the $87.5 million surrendered for the same six-month period last year, after remaining shuttered throughout the entirety of April, May and June.

Gubernatorial guidance:

The newspaper moreover reported that the closed Detroit trio are currently awaiting a re-opening green light from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. However, the Democratic leader purportedly recently extended her Midwestern state’s coronavirus-related lockdown by another four weeks, which means that the three will not likely be allowed to begin reviving operations until at least August 12.

Revised regulations:

When they do eventually re-open, the newspaper reported that the MotorCity Casino Hotel, MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown Casino Hotel will be required to follow a new set of public safety and social distancing protocols recently devised by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. These will purportedly include a 15% maximum capacity restriction and a total ban on live poker and smoking as well as likely mandatory temperature checks and increased rules on cleaning and restaurant operations.

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Aboriginal authority:

Although Detroit’s three commercial gambling-friendly establishments are remaining closed, the 23 tribal casinos in Michigan are purportedly exempt from Whitmer’s lockdown order and began emerging from their own coronavirus-prompted hibernations in late-May. Kathy George, Chief Executive Officer for the FireKeepers Casino Hotel near the city of Battle Creek, recently reportedly defended her venue’s resuscitation as critical to the existence of its owner, the federally-recognized Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.

George reportedly declared…

“They deemed us an essential business for the survival of the tribe. We’re obviously going to be following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”