Detroit Mayor Credits Online Gaming With Helping City Through Pandemic

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on March 11, 2022
Online Gaming Tax Revenue Helped City Says Detroit Mayor

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan credited taxes from online gaming with helping the city offset losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The mayor also projected that online gaming will help balance out the city’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins in July.

How has online gaming helped Detroit?

During the 2021 fiscal year, $26.6 million of the General Fund Revenue came from iGaming. That same year, Detroit projected revenue of $1.084 billion but only managed $1.015 billion. 

For the 2022 fiscal year, iGaming, which includes online casinos and sports betting, is projected to bring in $71.1 million in revenue. Should the industry meet that expectation, it would push Detroit’s general fund to over $1.1 billion

While speaking with council members, Duggan discussed the impact iGaming has had on the city.

“In December 2019, the casinos went to Lansing and asked for legislation to allow internet gaming. We struck a deal, with the support of our Detroit delegation, that the city got a share of the Internet gaming…that Internet gaming revenue, which was new to us, has so far offset the losses of our income tax revenue.”

Taking a look down the road of iGaming

Councilman Fred Durham III, the man behind the push to legalize online gaming, said the city is reaping the rewards.

Speaking with the Detroit Free Press, Durham has this to say:

“We have the ability to capture those dollars. During a pandemic, if they close, obviously people are not able to spend money and we are generating less revenue. But the ability to capture online created a stabilization or a safety net for us so we are not losing vital revenue for city services.”

Motor City is also expanding its projects for iGaming tax revenue in future fiscal years. The city estimates tax revenue to increase to more than $76 million by 2026.

  • $74.6 million – FY 2023
  • $75.2 million – FY 2024
  • $76.1 million – FY 2025
  • $76.9 million – FY 2026

Future projections do correlate with the success of Michigan online gaming. In 2021, $3.7 billion was wagered online, leading to $292.2 million in revenue. 

IGaming brought in $1.1 billion in tax revenue resulting in $209 million in state taxes. City taxes cleared just north of $60 million. 

January was also another good month for the state. Sports betting handle peaked at $496.8 million, translating to $34.7 million in casino revenue. The states’ share was $1.4 million in tax revenue. 

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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