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Detroit Casinos Raised $ 87.9 Million In September In First Full Month Of Reopening

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The revenues of the three Detroit casinos appear to have rebounded after they reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MotorCity Casino Hotel, Greektown Casino-Hotel and MGM Grand Detroit reported total revenue of $ 87.9 million last month while operating at 15% of capacity due to the pandemic, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Revenue for September was down 21.7% from the same time last year when casinos took in $ 112.3 million. However, revenues increased by almost 27% compared to August.

After more than four months of closure, the casinos reopened in the first week of August, grossing $ 69.3 million that month. Turnover is down 58% since the start of the year.

Even so, the sales figures are heading in the right direction, indicating that casinos are well positioned to recover from losses due to a pandemic, said Marvin Beatty, community manager for Greektown.

“I think the numbers show that we have done well with the limits that have been placed on us,” Beatty said. “It gave us a great opportunity to manage our facilities and really position ourselves for some growth opportunities.

Greektown’s revenue was $ 19.6 million, down 27% from a year ago. MGM posted revenue of $ 36.1 million, down 22%, while MotorCity’s revenue fell 17% to $ 32.2. million.

Sports betting also rose in September. MGM took in $ 2.1 million in sports betting, while MotorCity raised $ 1.6 million and Greektown raised $ 722,500.

Greektown is looking for strong growth in its bookmaker, with plans to open its Barstool-branded salon in late November or early December, Beatty said.

More revenue for casinos equals more revenue for Detroit and the state. All three casinos paid $ 10.5 million in betting and gaming taxes to the city in September, as well as $ 7.1 million to the state.

The numbers that worry Beatty and the rest of the state are the increase in COVID-19 cases. Beatty said the industry handled the reopening well and her casino had no issues with the virus spreading among customers or employees.

Greektown has reinstated 850 employees on the payroll, approaching the usual 1,500. Beatty said he doesn’t see business getting back to normal anytime soon.

“It’s really different,” he says. “We don’t expect this to look normal anytime soon based on what appears to be the spread of the virus.”

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