The American Gaming Association (AGA) has revealed that the $174.3 million contributed by the three casinos in Detroit last year accounted for an estimated 16% of the Michigan city’s total revenues.

Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in July of 2013 with the AGA revealing that the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino And Hotel and Greektown Casino Hotel are now playing a significant role in helping the city of 680,250 people to recover.

The AGA was in Detroit yesterday as part of a tour of American cities to discuss the contributions casinos make to their home communities. The visit comes in advance of next Wednesday’s hearing by the US House Of Representatives’ Subcommittee On Commerce, Manufacturing And Trade on the legal status of daily fantasy sports, online gambling and sportsbetting.

Chris Moyer, Public Affairs Senior Director for the AGA, told the Crain’s Detroit Business newspaper during the visit that traditional sportsbetting, which is illegal outside of Nevada under current Federal law, has a special significance for Detroit.

“You could envision a sportsbook at the casinos being very popular given the fan base in Detroit,” said Moyer.

He stated that the city’s proximity to the Ontario border was significant as Canada is currently considering legislation to legalize single-game sportsbetting at casinos including the nearby Caesars Windsor Casino.

“That would be an attraction and an amenity that Caesars could offer that none of the Detroit casinos can offer,” said Moyer.

He declared that sportsbetting represents a significant source of income for state and local governments as an estimated $4.2 billion was wagered on this year’s Super Bowl with the majority, or some $4.1 billion, bet illegally outside of Las Vegas. The AGA revealed that another $9 billion had been staked during the recent March Madness basketball tournament with and 97% of this done illegally.

Trio of casinos account for 16% of Detroit revenues

“A regulated sports gaming environment actually strengthens the integrity of the game because it makes it transparent,” said Moyer.