Introduction to MGM Grand Detroit
In downtown Detroit, Michigan lies MGM Grand Detroit. This commercial casino offers nearly 2,800 slot machines, many table games, and sports betting.
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MGM Grand Detroit, Downtown Detroit
Michigan has three commercial casinos, 23 American Indian tribal casinos, and a nearby Canadian casino across the international border from Detroit. In 1996, Michigan voters approved three licensed casinos for Detroit via the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) within the Michigan Department of Treasury regulates commercial casinos in Detroit. Further, the MGCB provides compliance oversight authority for tribal-state compacts with Michigan’s federally recognized tribes. The largest casino in Michigan is MGM Grand Detroit. The second-largest casino is Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort.
Theoretical Payout Limit and Return Statistics
Detroit’s commercial casinos have a minimum theoretical payout of 80%. In addition, they have a maximum theoretical payout of 100% unless otherwise approved by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Class II skill-based electronic gaming machines at commercial casinos in Detroit also have these payout limits when played perfectly. Return statistics from Detroit’s casinos are not publicly available.
Payout limits for machines at Michigan’s tribal casinos don’t exist, nor are return statistics publicly available.
Food and Accommodations
MGM Grand Detroit has extensive food options, including a steakhouse, café, food hall, coffee outlet, and a casual food court with four vendors.
This casino has an attached hotel and a parking garage, including valet service.
The MGM Rewards Loyalty Program
Tier level point requirements are:
- Sapphire for new guests
- Pearl starting at 20,000 points
- Gold starting at 75,000 points
- Platinum starting at 200,000 points
- Noir by invitation only.
I have not previously been a member of MGM Rewards, so my membership places me at Sapphire. I have not tried to persuade them to give me a probationary higher tier level based on my performance in another players’ club. But if you are top-tier or second-to-top-tier, you should do that with any other players’ club you join anywhere.
My MGM Grand Detroit Slots Experience
I’ve just spent two-and-a-half hours at MGM Grand Detroit, where I played slots for about 45 minutes. I walked in with a $300 bankroll in my wallet and left with $150.40 for a 50% return.
The first half-hour was spent in line at the cashier’s cage getting a new card. They informed me I had three accounts already set up despite never having gambled at an MGM Resorts property before. I ended up syncing all accounts into the one created for me during my 2014 Seven Stars trip to Las Vegas as Caesar’s Reward complimentary gift.
I started my session at zero points. When I finished playing slots 45 minutes later, I made only 88 points for 88-cents in Slots Play.
At the cost of $4 per club point, I spent $352 today at MGM Grand Detroit, having cycled my bankroll just over one time. However, I lost $150 as my bankroll dropped from $300 to $150 and left with a 50% loss.
I combined two strategies for efficiency and to preserve bankroll. Specifically, I tested my 5-spin approach while playing the most highly visible machines. That’s right; I combined Strategy 1: Only Win Immediately and Strategy 9: Location, Location, Location.
So, what happened? With my 5-spin approach, I tested twenty machines and found that sixteen provided a taste. However, often the wins were small, such as much than the minimum bet.
But I noticed a few of the visible machines gave out higher values tastes. As my 5-spin test proceeded, after only a few machines, I noticed how truly terrible the returns were. So, I began working hard to choose machines that were the most visible in the casino.
I found four machines of this sort out on the casino floor, which was paying higher returns. Plus one high-limit slot machine. Five machines out of nearly 2,800 slot machines.
And that was the end of my slots play at MGM Grand Detroit. I lost money at the best slot machine I could find anywhere in the casino. Which meant all I was going to do was lose if I continued to play slots.
What to Do if Visiting MGM Grand Detroit
I found five slot machines at MGM Grand Detroit with the best winning available. You’ll still lose, but slower. Two of these slot machines, where I made several wins for a $30 profit, were on the corner of the casino floor near the two smokeless slots parlors where you first enter the casino from the parking structures.
This corner of Zone 4 on the casino, as seen in the interactive casino map provided on players’ card kiosks, is near where I found the other two slot machines with better returns. Just follow the walkway from that corner almost to Zone 3. You’ll see a Game of Thrones-themed slot machine facing you on the left side and, facing someone coming down the aisle toward you, a Mad Max Fury Road theme slot machine.
The Game of Thrones was being played by the same slots enthusiast the whole time, so I didn’t get a chance to evaluate it. But they looked like they were doing okay, with lots of different bonuses. Bonuses are noticeable when I hadn’t seen any elsewhere else.
But I did play the Mad Max slot machine. I sat down during my 5-spin test and, on the first bet, won a bonus round that earned me $53.75 on a 75-cent bet.
Having found such a nice bonus round win, I immediately paused my 5-spin method test. I removed my $153.65, entered a $100 bill, and kept playing. My players’ card never left the machine.
I spent that $100 and my winnings from betting on it. This machine ended up providing almost all my winnings at MGM Grand Detroit. I cycled it three times while spending it for $300 applied toward my players’ reward account.
The high-limit slots room is hard to find, primarily due to being in a remote corner where nobody can see any slot machines from outside of it. It has only sixty-seven slot machines with thirty “high-limit” slot machines that have denominations greater than $2.
During my entire two-and-a-half-hour visit, I only saw two hand pays. Both were on the same high-limit machine about fifteen minutes apart.
It was the Twin Win 2 slot machine next to the pillar in the center of the high-limit room. It’s a $2 denomination machine where the hand pays were $1,860 and $1,200. If you are going to gamble at this casino, I recommend you play that slot machine.
The slots players did not look like there were having fun. Nobody appeared to be winning. I don’t mean they won and spent it, but instead they just spent their money. A slot attendant told me that’s typical.
Why? Because of the upper limit of 100% on the theoretical payout. The casino’s hands are tied. But remember there’s that caveat it can be over 100% on a specific machine if approval is gotten from the gaming commission.
From what I saw, few machines have this approval, but the casino is making the most of these machines. I found five of them out of 2,800 slot machines.
Perhaps they could get more of those machines approved, I suspect they are following orders from the corporate office. MGM Resorts has purchased seven casino properties on the Las Vegas Strip lately. As a result, current MGM casinos everywhere have likely tightened down their slot machines more than usual to help pay that massive bill.
This corporate decision is confirmed by MGM Rewards recently upping their rewards point system from $2 per point to $4, so everything costs you twice as much while saving them half of everything.
The question is, how long will this continue? It took casinos a year to recover from the pandemic, but then they continued another six months just to more-than-recover with record-high revenues. So, MGM Resorts International will likely take until mid-2023 to recover from purchasing Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, and New York, New York on the Las Vegas Strip.
This corporate decision is somewhat confirmed by MGM Rewards recently upping their rewards point system from $4 per point to $2. That means everything about their rewards program now costs you twice as much while saving them half of everything. That’s great for them, being a real money saver, but bad for you.
Summary of MGM Grand Detroit
MGM Grand Detroit is a commercial casino offers nearly 2,800 slot machines, many table games, and sports betting.