After 47-Day Strike, MGM Grand Detroit Employees Return To Work

After a 47-day strike, employees have returned to MGM Grand Detroit thanks to the introduction of a new agreement. This comes just weeks after employees returned to two other Detroit-area casinos: MotorCity Casino Hotel and Hollywood Casino at Greektown. Around the strike, Michigan experienced lower online casino and retail sportsbook numbers, but online sports betting via apps such as BetMGM sportsbook saw a record handle.

MGM Grand Detroit Strike Officially Ends

Thanks to employees voting to ratify a new contract, workers will return to MGM Grand Detroit. This follows 47 days of picketing for casino employees. The Detroit Casino Council, which represents the employees at MGM Grand Detroit confirmed a new five-year contract. Throughout the three major casinos in Detroit, 4,000 workers are represented by the Detroit Casino Council.

Approximately 1,700 employees, including cleaning staff, valets, and casino dealers, will be affected by the new contract. Here are some details surrounding the new agreement:

  • Pay raise averaging 18%
  • No increases in healthcare costs
  • Workload decrease

The strike, which also included employees from Hollywood Casino Greektown and MotorCity Casino Hotel, originally started on October 17, 2023.

The new contract means that casino operations will return to normal.

Workers Returned To MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino In November

On November 22, 2023, employees returned to both MotorCity Casino Hotel and Hollywood Casino Greektown. This ended a strike that had been ongoing for over a month, and brought 2,100 casino workers back to the two popular brick-and-mortar casinos.

The new contract for these casinos guarantees:

  • Raises from $3 to $5
  • Severance for employees losing their positions to automation
  • 401k employer match program
  • Tech-related position training
  • Paid Juneteenth holiday

The new contract for the two casinos will last for 64 months. Interestingly, the agreement didn’t receive a majority vote from employees at MGM Grand, which led to additional weeks of striking.

Michigan Sports Betting Sees Big Numbers Amidst Casino Strike

With the employee strike starting in October, overall numbers for Michigan betting saw a dip. For example, retail sports betting in the state of Michigan saw a decrease of 46.9% with a $1.1 million total. Plus, Michigan online casinos dipped 3.7% year-over-year in October of 2023, totaling $160.3 million.

However, online sports betting still saw some big numbers throughout October. In fact, Michigan bettors wagered $533 million with mobile sportsbooks throughout the month. This total was a 15.2% jump from September, and now stands as the all-time record handle throughout the history of Michigan sports betting.

Additionally, many Michigan sports betting operators broke their own previous handle records. The top online betting site in the month was FanDuel Sportsbook with $173.4 million in total handle to go with $20.5 million in revenue. DraftKings Sportsbook came in second with a handle of $147.4 million to go with $16.3 million in revenue.

Coming in at third was BetMGM Sportsbook Online, the online betting site from MGM Resorts International. Overall, BetMGM had a handle of $80.1 million and revenue totals of $6.9 million November numbers should be intriguing for retail casinos and retail sportsbooks considering MotorCity Casino Hotel and Hollywood Greektown Casino were experiencing an employee strike for the majority of the month, while MGM Grand Detroit had employees on strike the entire month.

Anthony Elio is the Lead Writer for, focusing on sports betting, online casino gaming, and horse racing. He covers state betting handles, sportsbook partnerships, operator news, and NHL picks. Outside of his work with LINEUPS, Elio has also written for Daily Fantasy Cafe, Innovation & Tech Today, Krazy Coupon Lady, and Residential Tech Today.

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