A view of downtown Detroit, Michigan from Lake Michigan, featuring several tall buildings and skyscrapers lighting up the night sky.

Michigan Board Renews Gaming Licenses

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has granted unanimous renewal for licenses to the trio of commercial casinos in Detroit. MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown will maintain their licenses until August of the following year. These approved casinos are subject to an 18% tax rate on their adjusted gross receipts.

A view of downtown Detroit, Michigan from Lake Michigan, featuring several tall buildings and skyscrapers lighting up the night sky.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has once again approved licenses for a trio of commercial casinos in Detroit: MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown.
©William Duggan/Unsplash

Approved Casinos in Detroit Pay 18% Tax Rate

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has reached a unanimous decision to extend the licenses of Detroit’s three commercial casinos, ensuring their operation until August of the following year. This renewal encompasses MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown, underscoring the regulatory continuity governing these establishments.

Taxation forms a core component of this landscape. Licensed casinos in Detroit abide by an 18% tax rate on adjusted gross receipts, with daily wagering tax submissions facilitated through electronic funds transfer. This economic framework directs 8.1% of the wagering tax to Michigan, while the City of Detroit receives 9.9%, supplemented by development agreement payments.

Further taxation mechanisms come into play, particularly in the context of retail sports betting. Qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR) from retail sports betting operations incur an 8.4% tax. Furthermore, licensees bear the responsibility of an annual fee, serving to cover the operational expenses of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Casino License Renewal is Indicator of the Upholding of High Standards, says MGCB

Sharing a statement was Henry Williams, the executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), who emphasized that the renewal of a casino license is indicative of an enduring dedication to maintaining a credible and responsible establishment. This action showcases a firm commitment to upholding elevated standards of quality, security, and equitable practices within the industry:

““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.”– Henry Williams, Executive Director, Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), Press Release

The renewal of these licenses was seen as a confirmation of the casinos’ dedication to functioning as responsible and esteemed corporate members of Michigan, actively contributing to the state’s gambling sector:


“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.”

In light of recent financial performance, the renewal of licenses for Detroit’s trio of casinos, namely MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown, has garnered attention. Figures from the month of July unveiled that these establishments collectively recorded $107.2 million in revenue. This result marked a status quo when compared to the previous year, with a slight uptick in comparison to the previous month’s results.

The core contributors to this financial outcome were slots and table games, responsible for generating $106.7 million – a 0.7% increase from the previous year. In the realm of sports betting, the numbers were slightly more varied, with $485,763 in Qualified Adjusted Gross Receipts (QAGR), reflecting a 62.0% decrease, while the betting handle reached $8.0 million. The revenue landscape paints an insightful picture of the performance of these casinos within the broader gambling industry context.

PokerStars Was Approved for Michigan Launch Back In January 2023

PokerStars, a well-regarded name in the online gaming realm, gained approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) in January 2023 to establish itself as the inaugural operator in the prominent Midwestern state to offer online multistate poker services. This achievement is underpinned by Michigan’s entry into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, following its approval in May 2022. The significance of this agreement lies in its capacity to unify PokerStars players across licensed and authorized jurisdictions, fostering a larger player pool.

The groundwork for interstate poker in Michigan was laid through legislative efforts, with the introduction of a bill in January 2021 allowing for land-based interstate poker. Subsequently, another bill emerged that paved the way for online casino operations, including poker, without the aspect of shared liquidity.

As of January 1st, 2023, New Jersey residents will also partake in the shared online poker ecosystem with their Michigan counterparts, amplifying the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement’s impact. This alliance extends beyond Michigan and New Jersey, encompassing Delaware and Nevada in its domain, setting the stage for collaborative growth in the online poker landscape.

Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) executive director Henry Williams celebrated PokerStars’s launch, making sure to note how an increase in players will also bring in greater game offerings and more attractive tournament prizes:

“A larger volume of players likely will result in more game options, more frequent games and larger tournament prizes.”

Michigan Police Seized Illegal Slot Machines Back in August 2022

Michigan state authorities asserted their commitment to upholding the law by successfully conducting raids on suspected illegal gambling operations in Flint in August 2022. The efforts yielded the confiscation of 67 gambling machines, including 11 video slot machines, and a substantial sum of over $10,000 in cash. The operations under scrutiny were The Cellular Vault and Cellular Bank, both of which faced thorough investigations by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

The synchronized raids, executed on August 18th, 2022, marked a pivotal step in curbing illicit gambling activities within the state. The confiscated evidence, comprising the machines, cash, and related business records, underscores the joint efforts of law enforcement agencies in their resolve to combat unlawful gambling practices. The state’s resolute stance against illegal gambling reflects its dedication to maintaining a regulated and legitimate gambling industry that aligns with established laws and regulations.

MGCB head Henry Williams thanked anonymous tippers for helping authorities with the successful raid, as well as warning gamers of the risks of playing with unlicensed operators:

“The MGCB received several anonymous tips regarding both Flint locations, and we thank the public for their help in rooting out possible illegal gambling activities. Patrons at alleged storefront casinos do not have access to the consumer protections required for legal, regulated gambling. The operations also can draw other types of crime to the surrounding neighborhoods.”

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Author: James Richardson