Crain’s Detroit Business reports that revenue from Detroit’s casinos in October was down 10% when compared to that same month in 2005. For comparison, US casinos in general saw a 5.2% increase in revenues from 2004 to 2005. Thus, we might expect that this 10% drop actually means Detroit’s casinos are 15% behind the rest of the nation.

But don’t let this mislead you. While October was a bad month for Motown casinos, the January-October figures for 2006, when compared to 2005, are quiet a bit sunnier: Detroit’s casinos saw $1.08 billion in revenue in 2006, vs. $1.02 billion in 2005 — that’s an increase of 5.9%, several percentage-points above the national average (and in a $33 billion industry, a few percentage points translates into a lot of greenbacks.)

Does this mean gentlemen’s gaming is the new industry for Michigan, poised to swoop down and lift us from our economic nose-dive? Unfortunately, that seems highly unlikely. Setting aside the ethical concerns inherit in filling the state with casinos, it turns out that $1.08 billion just doesn’t go as far as it used to:

Detroit alone had $3.7 billion in appropriations for 2006-2007, and the casinos only paid out about $130 million of their take to the city (roughly 3.5% of what Detroit needs to keep the lights on.) The casinos also offer decent jobs ($10 per hour plus some health benefits), but with only a few thousand per casino, we’re going to need a lot more craps tables to employ Detroit’s 60,000 jobless workers.

But maybe if we scrape together everything we’ve got and take it down to the race track . . .

Dave-o unabashedly supports Poor Mojo’s Newswire, a blog of merit since 1905 — now available electronically!

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