Michigan Casino Market Stagnant

Old news….

From the K’zoo Gazette:

The gaming-market “pie” has grown only slightly while being sliced into smaller pieces, analysts say

BY CHRIS KNAPE | Gazette News Service

Michigan’s economy is down, its unemployment is up and the auto industry is in a battle for its life.

But when it came to spending on lady luck at casinos, the state bucked national trends until winter set in.

Revenue at Michigan’s three commercial (non-Indian) casinos was up 1.3 percent in 2008, while commercial casinos around the country saw revenue decline 4.7 percent from record 2007 levels, according to state data and a study by the American Gaming Association.

Michigan’s tribal casinos, though not tracked by the association, also saw some revenue growth, based on records of payments they made via their state revenue-sharing agreements.

But growth in that sector was scattered, driven by the first full year of operations at the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo.

“It’s a dynamic where you don’t know if it’s an aberration, or if it’s a peculiarity of the Michigan market,” said Eric Bush, administrative manager for the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which regulates the state’s casinos.

“It doesn’t seem to be making a downturn and following the economy.”

The upward trend is not expected to continue, however. Eric Kalm, executive director of the MGCB, said the big question now for the state is how big of a revenue drop it should expect.

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