If you factor out Las Vegas and Atlantic City, Detroit is the number three most profitable casino market in the country following Chicago and Connecticut.
Detroit even beats out Reno with has gross revenues of $684 million compared to Motown's $1.37 billion.
In it's yearly report on the state of casino gaming in this country, the American Gaming Association uncovers all sorts of interesting tidbits about this lucrative and controversial business.
Former Gov. John Engler, on whose watch the gaming industry took a foothold and mushroomed, warned he did not want to see Michigan turn into the Las Vegas of the mid-west. Well if it was not for Minnesota with its 40 casinos, Michigan would be the leader with its 24. Poor Illinois has only nine and Indiana 13. Ohio has none. You know how wimpy those Buckeyes are.
During these tough economic times, the casinos nationwide saw almost a one-percent growth after two years of declining profits. Would-be millionaires, about 55 million, pumped over $34 billion into the slots in hopes of striking it rich.
Michigan's increase was a respectable 3 percent.
And then there are the demographics on who these folks are.
O.K. you know this one: 58% of the casino visitors are over the age of 50 and one out of every four is over 65. Hence the little ole lady with a giant cup sitting at a slot machine is not too far off although they are out numbered by little ole men doing the same thing.
30% of the visitors hold college degrees and 15% have post graduate degrees..maybe some of them are doing research?
25% have household incomes between $35,000 and $60,000 a year while the truly rich make up only about 15% of the casino crowd. Hey if you got, you don't need it.
And among those who set a budget before they gamble, 40% set it at one hundred bucks while one out of five bring along more than $300.
One question they did not ask. How many smoke while you are losing your money?
The number has to be huge. Apparently when you are losing, you get at least some gratification by smoking which is why the three Detroit casinos fought for and won an exemption from the ban on public smoking that applies everywhere else.