Sharp decline in Detroit; Biden backs Seminoles, DeSantis

Our vacation has taken us to the wilds of Michigan, so today’s report will start there. Detroit‘s three casinos raked in $105 million last month, a 1.5% decline from May of last year. But it was a terrific month for Hollywood Detroit, which captured business from its competitors, up 7.5% to $23 million. MGM Grand Detroit ceded 1.5% but made $49 million, while MotorCity‘s $32 million represented a 7% shortfall. While Penn Entertainment‘s Greektown gain was not as spectacular as those of January and February (16% and 12% respectively) the comparisons have been strongly positive all year, signaling that Penn has turned the place around.

Internet casinos outgrossed terrestrial ones again, $150.5 million to the good. That’s an 18% upsurge. BetMGM was out in front with $47.5 million, while second place was a heat between DraftKings ($34 million) and FanDuel ($30 million). Traditional casino providers not named ‘MGM’ tended to fare far less well: BetRivers ($9 million), Caesars Entertainment ($7 million), WynnBet ($5 million), with Barstool Sports contributing $3 million. Sports betting yielded $35 million of revenue out of $283 million in handle—but one dollar in three went right back out in promotions. FanDuel was utterly dominant with $17.5 million, weakly contested by DraftKings ($8 million), BetMGM ($6 million) and Barstool ($1 million). PointsBet, Caesars Sportsbook, BetRivers, Bet America, FoxBet, Parx, Four Winds and Wynn all made next to nothing.

Gambling revenues in Pennsylvania have retreated a bit (-2%) from last year and—thanks to saturation—quite a bit from 2019 (13%). The statewide gross in May was $292.5 million. Parx Casino was flat but led the pack with an impressive $52 million. The remainder of the Philadelphia market saw Rivers Philadelphia making a 3.5% gain to best Philadelphia Live (-8%) $20 million to $18.5 million. Harrah’s Philadelphia, out in Chester, plunged 16.5% to $13 million while Valley Forge Casino Resort climbed 3% to $12 million. The novelty value of Harrah’s has clearly long since worn off and being across the street from the state pen can’t help either.

Wind Creek Bethlehem rendering

Nobody lost market share in Pittsburgh. Although flat, The Rivers was out front with $30 million. Hollywood Meadows was also flat but managed $16.5 million, while Pittsburgh Live climbed 1.5% to $9.5 million, so everybody was happy. Despite a -6.5% trough, Wind Creek Bethlehem grossed $44 million to lead the regional properties. Next best and not nearly as boffo was Mohegan Sun Pocono, flat at $18.5 million, then Mount Airy, up 10% to $16.5 million. Presque Isle Downs was down 8.5% to $9 million, Hollywood Penn National was off 4.5% to $15 million and Lady Luck Nemacolin, last survivor of the Lady Luck brand, slid 19% to $2 million. As for the newer satellites, infant Parx Shippensburg normalized with $3 million, Hollywood Morgantown vaulted 17.5% to $5.5 million and Hollywood York leapt 15% to $8 million.

Internet casinos surged in May, up 24% to $141 million. The DraftKings/BetMGM/Penn license garned $58.5 million whilst BetRivers and FanDuel were neck and neck at $29.5 million. Although promotional giveaways were a robust $16.5 million, handle of $495.5 million boiled down to $57.5 million. FanDuel led DraftKings in market share of revenue, $22.5 million to $9 million, trailed by BetRivers ($2.5 million), Parx ($1.5 million), Barstool ($1.5 million) and BetMGM ($1.5 million), with Caesars Sportsbook and FoxBet eating dust.

Jottings: While Caesars Entertainment and others are cashing in on Virginia casinos, the Pamunkey Tribe has been left at the post. They’ve just submitted plans for Phase I of their Norfolk casino—one year late. To be called Headwaters Resort & Casino (kind of ironic since it’s at the mouth of a river), the project will be a sleek, $100 million facility that will take two years to construct … Play ball, bettors! Wrigley Field opens its DraftKings-branded sports book on Tuesday. Actually, there won’t be any terrestrial betting at first, since DraftKings doesn’t have license yet, leaving patrons to view a glorified sports bar. Worse yet, “Fans attending a Cubs game won’t be able to slide over to the sportsbook and return” … International business may be returning to Las Vegas but mostly from oft-demonized Mexico and Canada, so maybe we should speak of them better. Third is the United Kingdom, a strong market with potential to grow still further. Australia and Germany are also represented on the leader board but the Pacific Rim makes a poor showing …

Genting Group‘s $1.2 billion Miami splurge in real estate is proving to be a white elephant. Long years after the megaresort push in Florida collapsed, the company is still trying to vend the 15.5 acres of waterfront property it rashly purchased. A deal with Smart Miami City fell through after Genting lost patience this week … Encore Boston Harbor is far and away Massachusetts‘ top casino and employees want a bigger piece of the action. Workers, who have not had a contract since April, voted overwhelmingly to go on strike next Friday … A Nebraska racino in Hastings hasn’t even been built yet and already it’s looking to greener pastures. Hastings Exposition & Racing wants to pull up stakes and move to Ogallala, where it would partner with Elite Casino Resorts on a $100 million racino. In addition to quarter horse racing, it would offer 650 slots and 20 table games … Elsewhere in Nebraska, the state’s first sports book has opened in Lincoln. It’s run by Kambi Group, which is currently taking over ailing Bally Bet, too … Graton Rancheria is doubling the size of its Rohnert Park casino in California. When completed, an additional 2,000 slots will be on offer, along with a 3,500-seat concert hall.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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