Two decades after Michigan voters approved the introduction of casino gaming, the industry is delivering for the city of Detroit, according to panelists at a roundtable discussion at MGM Grand Detroit with all three casinos represented.
The roundtable featured Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14); Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones; Steven Zanella, president and COO, MGM Grand Detroit; Bruce Dall, CFO, MotorCity Casino-Hotel; Jason Gregorec, general manager and CEO, Greektown Casino-Hotel; and Geoff Freeman, president and CEO, American Gaming Association (AGA).
“The gaming industry is proud to play a significant role in the reemergence of the city of Detroit,” said AGA’s Freeman. “MGM Grand, MotorCity and Greektown are reaffirming the decision of voters 20 years ago by delivering good jobs, unmatched tax revenue and valued partnerships with community leaders in Detroit.”
The event was held as part of AGA’s Get to Know Gaming campaign to shine a spotlight on gaming’s many positive impacts on communities across 40 states. In Michigan, gaming is a $2.8 billion industry that supports more than 17,000 jobs and generates more than $721 million in local, state and federal tax revenue.
“Detroit’s three casinos have been partners in the community’s campaign to get this great city back on the right track,” said Congresswoman Lawrence. “We’ve seen their commitment to Detroit going beyond hiring local vendors and promoting diversity throughout their organizations. The greatest impact can be realized in jobs offered in a wide range of careers providing a path to the middle class for the residents of Detroit, as well as their mission-based philanthropic efforts which infuse additional resources throughout the city and beyond.”
Last year, the City of Detroit received $174.3 million in tax revenue – or 16 percent of the City’s total overall revenue – from the three casinos. As Detroit sought to emerge from bankruptcy, casino revenue was the third-largest source of revenue for the City, according to a published report, and, “the most stable source of money.”
“The revenues from MGM Grand, MotorCity and Greektown Casinos allow our city to avoid significant financial problems,” said City Council President Jones. “The gaming industry is providing good jobs for Detroit residents, while enhancing our small businesses and serving as a true community partner.”
Participants discussed the industry’s contributions to programs that support education, veterans, employee growth, sustainability, the arts and more. Others who attended the event included local elected officials, community leaders and industry employees who know firsthand the industry’s commitment to job training and placement, charitable giving and community stewardship.
“We’re proud to be a fixture of the Detroit community and will continue to build on the success we’ve had employing thousands of city residents and playing an important role in the revitalization of our city,” said MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino-Hotel and Greektown Casino-Hotel.
In November 1996, Michigan voters approved Proposal E, effectively authorizing three licensed casinos to be built in Detroit. Proposal E was later substantially improved and strengthened, then signed into law as the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act.
AGA has hosted similar events in Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Across 40 states, casino gaming is a $240 billion industry that supports 1.7 million jobs and generates $38 billion in tax revenue. For more information, visit GetToKnowGaming.org.