Detroit Casinos Lose Employees, Revenue

Last year Detroit's three casinos reported a combined 7,633 workers, a drop of 4.4 percent or 350 employees compared to 2012. Total revenues at the three properties declined from $1.42 billion in 2012 to $1.35 billion last year. New competition in Ohio was to blame, Detroit casino officials said.

Detroit’s three casinos–MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino—recently reported combined employment dropped 4.4 percent in 2013, according to American Gaming Association figures. Last year the casinos employed 7,633 permanent workers, 350 less than 2012. With employees in accounting, hotel management, information systems, technology, software, food and beverage, retail and entertainment, the casinos had a payroll of 1 million in wages, benefits and tips in 2013.

Total revenues at the three casinos fell by 5 percent to $1.35 billion in 2013, down from $1.42 billion in 2012, the Michigan Gaming Control Board reported. Tax revenues were $109.3 million in 2013 compared to $114.8 million in 2012. Officials blamed competition from Ohio’s four new casinos and two racetracks built in the last two years.

Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive officer of the AGA, said, “Casino gaming has created thousands of jobs in Detroit that pay well above the minimum wage and offer fulfilling careers in a range of professions that extend beyond the casino floor. Americans feel more favorably toward casino gaming than ever before, and they recognize that gaming creates jobs, boost small businesses and positively affects local communities. We’re proud that casinos are playing an important role in Detroit’s recovery and we look forward to being a partner for years to come.”

Detroit’s casino is the fourth largest in the U.S., following Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Chicago. Last year, MGM Grand Detroit posted a net income of $155.7 million. Greektown Casino, in the midst of a $50 million upgrade in gaming equipment, lost $31 million. MotorCity Casino, privately owned by Marian Ilitch, does not publicly report annual earnings.