Michigan Gaming Control Board makes $40.5 million 'hold harmless' payment to City of Detroit from internet gaming taxes

Contact: Mary Kay Bean 313-456-1344

Detroit, October 26, 2021 - The Michigan Gaming Control Board this month issued the City of Detroit a $40.5 million "hold harmless" payment drawn from the state's Internet Gaming Fund, which is supported by internet casino gaming taxes. The payment is required under Michigan law to reimburse the city for a wagering tax revenue drop during its 2021 fiscal year.

"A provision in the 2019 Lawful Internet Gaming Act calls for a 'hold harmless' payment to the city if wagering tax revenue drops below the statutory minimum of $183 million for any reason during the preceding city fiscal year," said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director.

"The Detroit casinos experienced a revenue drop during 2020 and early 2021 because of COVID-19-related shutdowns and capacity limits, which reduced wagering tax and development agreement payments," he said. "Wagering taxes from internet casino gaming and online sports betting did not begin until both gaming forms launched on Jan. 22. This was about seven months into the city's fiscal year, which ended June 30. The provision took effect because of an unusual set of circumstances caused by the casinos' closings and reduced capacity due to COVID-19 health concerns."

The payment required by statute was made earlier this month.

"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."