Annual Report For Michigan Tribal Casinos Shows 2022 Rebound

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on May 1, 2023
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The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has recently issued its Tribal Gaming Annual Report for the period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022. 

After struggling to produce revenue during the pandemic, tribal gaming in the state has finally returned to pre-pandemic revenue levels. That includes revenue from brick-and-mortar gambling facilities, online sportsbooks connected to the tribal casinos, and online casino apps in Michigan.

Michigan has compacts with 12 Native American tribes which operate 23 Class III tribal casinos in Michigan. In 1988, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, authorizing federally recognized tribes to conduct casino operations on their tribal lands.

Michigan tribal casinos paid over $30 million to local and state government

Helping hundreds of people, tribal casino revenue covers the daily needs, supplies and services of entire tribes each year. That includes medical and housing assistance as well as financial support for schools.

Under provisions of the compacts and related consent judgments, all Michigan tribes must pay 2% of their respective net win to municipalities and the state. For reporting period 2022, tribes collectively forwarded $30.8 million to local units of state government and local revenue-sharing boards.

The net win percentage paid to the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) ranges from 1% to 12%. That percentage is based on exclusivity and economic incentive provisions and depends on the compact or related consent judgment. Last year, tribes paid $52.8 million to the MSF and the MEDC.

In the 2022 Tribal Gaming Report, the MGCB Executive Director Henry L. Williams, Jr. said:

“The Tribal Gaming Section of the Michigan Gaming Control Board continued its Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact oversight efforts through the conduct of inspections. In fulfilling our duties and responsibilities, MGCB continued to receive invaluable assistance from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Governor’s Legal Counsel. As always, we strive to maintain positive communications with all tribes and encourage voluntary tribal compliance with the Compacts on a government-to-government basis.”

Tribal casino revenue recovers after COVID

After striving to collect revenue during the pandemic, tribal gaming in Michigan has rebounded to pre-pandemic revenue levels.

Collecting over $30 million in revenue throughout 2022 is a positive sign for the tribes. According to PlayMichigan, those payments dropped by 18.7% from 2019 to 2020 following the pandemic closing several Michigan casinos for months.

The revenue figure was the highest in 2021, reaching $31.5 million.

Most of the money collected goes back to local communities through funding schools, city governments, fire departments and police departments.

Casino revenue means more than just money for the tribes

The National Indian Gaming Association revealed that about half of the employees at tribal casinos are Native Americans.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) reported that in fiscal year 2021 across 28 states, 515 tribal casinos paid wages to 676,428 workers.

The services the tribal casinos provide received federal recognition from the US Department of Interior. That acknowledgement provides tribes with health care, housing and education assistance programs.

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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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