Detroit Casinos Received $5 Million In Covid-19 Assistance
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the State of Michigan supplied assistance to a variety of MI businesses as part of the Growing MI Business grant program.
Businesses that fit the criteria in place by the state were able to receive up to $5 million in assistance during the pandemic. The intention was to supply those businesses most impacted by Covid caused shutdowns. Funding for the Growing MI Business Grant Program was funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.
According to new information provided in a Michigan Department of Treasury report released last month, Detroit’s three retail casinos received the most financial relief out of any other business on the list.
How much money did the three casinos receive?
According to the report, Detroit Entertainment LLC (owners of MotorCity Casino Hotel), Greektown Casino LLC (owners of Hollywood Casino at Greektown), and MGM Grand LLC each received $5 million in assistance.
8,329 businesses applied for the program, requesting a reported $130 million in aid.
Out of the 8,329 businesses that applied, only 2,981 received awards that totaled $117.3 million. The max award possible was $5 million, with some businesses receiving as little as $2.
Funds were supposed to be used to renovate or expand businesses, fill open positions, and improve operations.
How did businesses receive funding?
To qualify for the assistance, businesses had to meet requirements set by the state. First, only businesses in operation before October 1st, 2019, were eligible for the aid.
“Our top goal is to help eligible Michigan businesses receive relief so they can prosper in our economy after the pandemic,” said Rachael Eubanks, State Treasurer. “We carefully worked with our business partners in the private and public sectors to ensure everyone was aware of the Growing MI Business Grant Program and helped businesses navigate through the application process,” said Eubanks.
Businesses were required to show that they had undergone a total sales decline of at least 5 percent during 2020 vs. 2019. On top of this, only certain types of businesses qualified for assistance. Restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, recreational facilities, gyms, barbers and salons, plant nurseries, athletic trainers, and body art shops were the only types of businesses that qualified.
Then businesses were required to show how they had a total sales decline of 5% during 2020 compared to sales from 2019. The amount of assistance was based on a business’s financial hardship. This number was calculated by combining a company’s property taxes for 2020, 17% annual lease costs, 50% unemployment insurance tax, Liquor license fees, and State license and inspection fees.
It was estimated that 616,000 casino employees across the country were unable to work during the pandemic, according to a report by Americangaming.org. The report also estimated that $2 billion in tax revenue alone was lost during this time.
Last year, the total revenue generated from gambling across the regulated US market was about $53 billion. Coming right out of a pandemic, Americans wanted their shot at winning the jackpot. And sportsbooks and casinos now offered a way for players to gamble conveniently from home. 2021’s total revenue gambling numbers were up 20% compared to 2019.
While Michigan players didn’t wager as much as some predicted last month, the country, as a whole, seems to be on track to make 2022 another record-breaking year, according to data from the American Gaming Association.
List of top 10 businesses that received Covid-19 assistance in Michigan from the Growing MI Business Grant Program:
DETROIT ENTERTAINMENT, L.L.C. – $5,000,000
GREEKTOWN CASINO, L.L.C. – $5,000,000
MGM GRAND DETROIT. LLC – $5,000,000
AMWAY HOTEL Corp. – $2,408,150
HIH INC. – $2,345,459
MJR GROUP LLC – $1,991,745
TSFR APPLE VENTURE LLC – $1,894,918
LOEKS THEATRES, INC. – $1,782,280
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY, LLC – $1,640,888
AMERICAN MULTI-CINEMA INC. – $1,635,393
Mac Daniel is a Michigan native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com