Friday, December 14, 2007

Blurred lines between Ilitch Holdings, Inc. and Ilitch owned gambling entities

A story in Crain's Detroit Business published 12.03.07 suggests that Detroit Entertainment LLC is "a distinct corporate venture from Ilitch Holdings Inc."

TVT's not buying that attempt to pull the wool over Bud Selig's eyes. Consider the following:
  • Official press releases posted on the Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Web site indicate something different:
    "Part of the Ilitch Holdings’ family of businesses, the company’s primary business interests in the food, sports and entertainment industries include – Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Uptown Entertainment, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, MotorCity Casino and a variety of venues within these entities."

  • Official Press Releases available in the "Media Room" on the Ilitch Holdings, Inc.. Web site (there are several) even have the MotorCity Casino logo among the various Ilitch brands incorporated into the Ilitch Holdings, Inc. masthead (see graphic above) including an official press release issued on behalf of Ilitch Childrens Chairities.

  • Then there's the matter of IH Gaming, Inc. formed in 1997 and apparently still active which would appear to stand for Ilitch Holdings Gaming.

  • John Kotlar, both resident agent and Vice President of Tax Affairs for Ilitch Holdings, Inc., and also resident agent for Detroit Tigers, Inc., is also the resident agent for IH Gaming, Inc.; CCM Merger, Inc. (parent of Detroit Entertainment LLC of which MotorCity Casino is a d/b/a), Atwater Casino Group LLC; Z.R.X. LLC; and various other entities formed or aquired as part of the Ilitch ownership in casino ventures over the years. And it is noted that those entities have registered official addresses with the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth at the headquarters of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., 2211 WOODWARD AVE, DETROIT MI 48201. Kotlar's official bio on the Ilitch Holdings Web site fails to mention his involvement with these Ilitch owned gambling entities.

  • Marian Ilitch, reportedly the sole owner and perhaps Chairwoman of MotorCity Casino which is a d/b/a for Detroit Entertainment LLC is also the Vice Chairwoman of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. She and her husband Mike Ilitch co-founded Little Caesars Pizza and co-own the Detroit Red Wings.

  • And finally a recent Free Press story indicated that Ilitch Holdings, Inc. CEO and President Christopher Ilitch is a member of the MotorCity Casino Management Committee. Christopher Ilitch's official bio on the Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Web site fails to mention his official involvement with MotorCity Casino.

They can say all they want that there's no mingling of business interests -- that the Casino operations are distinct and separate from Ilitch Holdings, Inc. -- but there are red flags all over the place that suggest something different.

Just because an Ilitch or an Ilitch representative says something doesn't mean it's so. What it means is that's what they want you to -- or need you to -- believe.
To suggest that MotorCity Casino (Detroit Entertainment LLC/CCM Merger Inc) is distinct from and not a part of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is questionable at best.

Marian Ilitch tells a reporter she's got nothing to do with Tigers baseball

from a Crain's Detroit Business story by Daniel Duggan published 12.03.07:

...Behind the venture is Marian Ilitch, who heads Detroit Entertainment L.L.C., a distinct corporate venture from Ilitch Holdings Inc., of which she is vice-chairwoman and her husband, Mike, is chairman.

During the grand opening, Marian Ilitch shared her thoughts on life at home with two distinct companies, on the delays of opening the hotel, and her role in the casino design.

What is it like for you at home, when you have a company that has to stay separate from your husband's?

It's not difficult, it really isn't. I don't do any of the baseball stuff, it's his bag, it's over there. I go to the ball games, but I don't go to the press conferences. He doesn't go to mine either. It's easy to separate it. We've been together a long time, Mike and I, so we can take jabs at each other. I tell him I'll leave baseball alone as long as they don't cross Woodward looking for money.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Barstow Mayor Lawrence Dale: allegations of racial slurs

At a recent City Council meeting in the City of Barstow a local political activist accused the 72-year-old GOP Mayor of Barstow Lawrence Dale and his buddies over at the local Masonic Lodge of frequently using a racial slur to refer to Barstow City Councilman Joe Gomez.

Gomez, of latino heritage, was raised in Barstow and was elected to the City Council in November 2004 after being endorsed by the Barstow Police Officers' Association.

Recently it has come to light that Mayor Dale who began a life-long career with the Santa Fe Railroad at age 17 failed to graduate from high school.

Dale and Gomez have often been often at odds over the direction Barstow should take if it hopes to attract an Indian gaming resort that could serve as an economic catalyst for the struggling desert community.

In 2006, an independent council majority appointed Hector Rodriguez as City Manager of Barstow much to the dislike of Mayor Dale. Since then, Dale has worked behind the scenes to undermine Rodriguez and recently succeeded at pushing Rodriguez out of City Hall. Gomez had hoped to retain Rodriguez as City Manager.

While Mayor Dale may be playing to his base with these alledged racist comments, nearly 40% of Barstow residents indicate they are Hispanic; and according to the San Bernardino Registrar of Voters, 40% of Barstow voters are registered Democrat; while 34% are registered GOP.

MotorCity Casino's November revenues third worst for 2007; hotel opening had little impact

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, MotorCity Casino posted revenues of $38.3 million for the month of November. That was a slight increase, 1.56%, over October's revenues which were reported as the second lowest for the 2007 calendar year.

MotorCity Casino's November revenues rank as the third worst peforming month of the year.

It's significant to recognize that two of the three lowest performing months during 2007 (October & November) were reported after MotorCity Casino opened its expanded gaming floor (25% larger) in June. The lowest monthly revenues were reported in May 2007; just prior to the opening of the expanded gaming floor.

SOURCE: Michgian Gaming Control Board

MGM Grand Detroit revenues drop; Casinos' occupancy rates raise concerns


At MGM, many gamble, but fewer stay overnight


Is there too much room at the inns?

Since the MGM Grand Detroit hotel opened in early October, bookings have been running below the metro Detroit average of about 55% occupancy, raising fears whether all of downtown's new hotels will find enough customers.

George Boyer, president and chief operating officer of MGM Grand Detroit, reported the soft hotel occupancy results during an otherwise upbeat report Tuesday to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

MGM's casino revenues for November were up $6 million, or nearly 15%, from the same month in 2006, when the MGM was in a temporary location. The take of $46.8 million was down from MGM Grand's debut month of October, when the celebratory opening resulted in $54.9 million in revenue, but that was expected.
Boyer did not give an exact figure for MGM Grand's hotel occupancy. Occupancy figures for the new MotorCity Casino hotel, which opened late last month, were not available, either.

Robin Boyle, a professor of urban planning at Wayne State University and co-chair of the Urban Land Institute, a real estate education association, said he wasn't surprised at the soft occupancy levels.

"To get momentum for the new hotels is going to take quite a lot of concerted efforts from all the different players, and I think that is coming together," he said. "The trouble is, these things take time, and perhaps the delivery of hotel rooms is a little bit ahead of getting this message out."

Downtown Detroit is in the process of nearly doubling its inventory of hotel rooms, with the MGM Grand and MotorCity Casino hotels and the old Hotel Pontchartrain having reopened as a Sheraton.

Also, the renovated Westin Book Cadillac, the Doubletree Fort Shelby, and the Greektown Casino hotel are all expected to open in fall 2008 or shortly after. The six hotels together offer about 2,000 rooms to the downtown market.

Leaders of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau say the new hotel rooms are key to fulfilling the city's hopes of growing its convention business.

"When you basically double the inventory of hotel rooms anywhere, it's going to take a little bit of time to balance things out," Michael O'Callaghan, executive vice president of the convention bureau, said Tuesday. "You have to create a new customer base. But I'm confident that all three casino hotels have all done their due diligence. They know that in the long run they'll all do just fine."

Some of the new hotels may be doing better than others. Scott Stinebaugh, director of marketing for the Westin Book Cadillac, said his hotel, which is to open in October 2008, already is fully booked for the January 2009 North American International Auto Show.

In other casino news, MotorCity and Greektown casinos reported revenue increases in November. Greektown's $2.5-million revenue jump followed the recent opening of its mammoth new parking garage.

MotorCity had $38.3 million in November revenues. That was up from October's $37.7 million, before it moved to its new location.

The total take for the three casinos in November declined to $113.2 million, down about $5 million from October's record combined take.

But the figure was up from the November 2006 take of $108.3 million.

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER at 313-222-5173 or

Find this article at:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Michael Malik reports a quarter of a million dollars in personal political contributions

Michael J. Malik, Sr. - reports nearly $250,000 in Federal campaign contributions:

Barstow's Mayor failed to graduate from High School

It has recently come to TVT's attention that the 72-year-old Mayor of Barstow, Lawrence Dale, a lifer who is since retired from the Santa Fe Railroad failed to graduate from High School.

Official NHL Web site of the Detroit Red Wings notes Ilitch ownership of MotorCity Casino

An announcement on the official NHL Red Wings Web site about promotions in the hockey team's front office notes:

The Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League, are owned by Detroit entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. Other Ilitch-owned companies include: Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc., Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Champion Foods, Olympia Development, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Little Caesar Pizza Kit Fundraising Program and Uptown Entertainment.

YouTube: A promotional video for Olympia Entertainment, an Ilitch Holdings Inc. company

Promotional video of Olympia Entertainment a division or subsidiary of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. that manages Detroit's Fox Theater, Cobo Arena, Comerica Park, Joe Louis Arena, Hockeytown Cafe and other area entertainment venues.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christopher Ilitch elected to the board of Detroit Renaissance


DETROIT, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Detroit Renaissance today announced the election of David A. Brandon, chairman and chief executive officer of Domino's Pizza, as the chairman of its Board of Directors. William Clay Ford Jr. will remain chairman of the Executive Committee of Detroit Renaissance. Elected as vice chairman of the executive committee was James B. Nicholson, president and chief executive officer of PVS Chemicals.

"I would like to thank our leadership team for their commitment to Detroit and this region," said Detroit Renaissance President Doug Rothwell. "Their expert counsel and guidance help us to effectively navigate the Road to Renaissance and our efforts to transform the economy of Southeast Michigan."

The following directors were also elected to the Detroit Renaissance Executive Committee:

    Dave Bing, The Bing Group;
    Mary Sue Coleman, University of Michigan;
    Anthony F. Earley, Jr., DTE Energy;
    Alfred R. Glancy III, Unico Investment Company;
    Chris Ilitch, Ilitch Holdings, Inc.;
    Tom LaSorda, Chrysler;
    Richard Manoogian, Masco Corporation;
    Tom Ogden, Comerica Inc.;
    Cindy Pasky, Strategic Staffing Solutions;
    Roger Penske, Penske Corporation;
    Sandra Pierce, Charter One Bank;
    Richard F. Russell, Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company;
    Doug Steenland, Northwest Airlines;
    Gail Torreano, ATT;
    Alan E. Schwartz, Honigman, Miller, Schwartz & Cohn; and,
    G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., General Motors Corporation
Detroit Renaissance provides leadership to accelerate the economic transformation of Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Renaissance accomplishes this work through serving as a catalyst to develop growth strategies, advocating for those strategies and championing specific initiatives that accelerate growth.

A 501(c)(3) organization that was formed in 1970, Detroit Renaissance includes the chief executive officers of the region's most significant employers and universities. For more information, visit

Ilitch ups Tigers payroll to $130 million


Tigers owner spending generously to win now
Ilitch, 78, established Little Caesar's Pizza and owns the Red Wings

By Jim Salisbury

PHILADELPHIA -- Meddlesome owners can drive general managers a little crazy. But there isn't a GM in baseball who wouldn't welcome this kind of meddling.

It was just before Thanksgiving. Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch was catching up on the coverage of baseball's hot stove season and couldn't help but notice that the Florida Marlins were taking offers on slugging third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

Ilitch called Dave Dombrowski, his team's president and GM, and asked whether the Tigers were interested.

Of course, Dombrowski said, the Tigers had interest. (Who wouldn't want a 24-year-old who has averaged 31 homers and 115 RBI the last four seasons?)

But that interest was tempered by the large price tag the Marlins had put on Cabrera. They wanted big prospects in return, and Cabrera figured to make more than $10 million in arbitration this winter, a sizable paycheck with the Tigers' payroll already approaching $110 million.

None of this bothered Ilitch.

"If there's something you can do, maybe we push our situation and see if we can make it work," Ilitch told Dombrowski.

That was code for: Go get Miguel Cabrera. Go get a World Series championship -- now.

And so Dombrowski, who had previously thought his wintertime wheeling and dealing was complete, showed up at the winter meetings Monday and immediately initiated talks with the Marlins.

The Tigers also sought lefthanded pitcher Dontrelle Willis in the deal. They presented a staggering package of six prospects, including two of the best in baseball, lefty Andrew Miller, 22, and center fielder Cameron Maybin, 20.

By late Tuesday afternoon, the deal was agreed upon and the Tigers had the look of a powerhouse club ready to get back to the World Series for the second time in three years.

"We made this trade to win now," Dombrowski said.

Tigers fans were so pleased with the deal that they purchased nearly $1.3 million worth of tickets on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Detroit News.

The excitement started with a phone call from the owner, the blessing to give up two prospects whose combined draft price tag was about $7 million, and a willingness to hike the 2008 payroll to close to $130 million.

"Not to say that we didn't have interest, but Mike Ilitch calling and saying, 'Why don't you see if you can be open-minded to that, if there's something we can work out?' kind of inched it along a little bit," Dombrowski said.

Ilitch, the founder of the Little Caesar's Pizza empire, also owns the Detroit Red Wings. He has already hoisted the Stanley Cup. At age 78, he clearly believes it's time to put a World Series ring on his finger.

Now he owns a baseball team capable of getting him one.

Willis joins Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, Kenny Rogers and Nate Robertson in a solid rotation that will benefit from plenty of offensive support.

The Tigers were second in the AL in runs (887) and slugging (.458) last season. With Cabrera likely to hit fifth behind Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco, Gary Sheffield and Magglio Ordonez, they could be even more explosive in 2008.

"If you don't pitch well, they'll let you know," Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

"I bet there are some lefthanded pitchers that aren't too excited in the American League," said Boston manager Terry Francona, taking a look at the big right-handed bats of Sheffield, Ordonez and Cabrera in the middle of the Tigers' order.

"The American League has got a lot of good teams. And when you go through cities like Detroit, if your pitching is not in line, they cannot just beat you; they can beat you up and hurt you for about a week because they just maul you. There's no letup."

After 12 straight losing seasons, the Tigers won 95 games in 2006 and got to the World Series, where they lost to St. Louis. Last season, the Tigers did not make the playoffs. To get back there, they will have to contend with Cleveland, the defending AL Central champion, and even AL East stalwarts Boston and the New York Yankees, who annually contend for the division and wild-card titles.

AL teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, Indians and Angels are so good that a team must act boldly, like the Tigers did, if they want to get to the playoffs. Hence, the Tigers' decision to give up top prospects, hike their payroll, and go for it now.

Trying to keep up with the Red Sox and Yankees is one reason the American League is superior to the National League.

"They have set the bar high," said Lou Piniella, who manages the NL's Chicago Cubs. "I think these American League teams say to themselves, 'Boy, if we want to get where they are, we've got to improve.' You've got to get after it. That's exactly what Detroit did."

And it all started with ownership.

TVT has welcomed more than 178,000 unique vistors

TVT, founded in December 2006, has averaged more than 20,000 visitors annually. It is produced with the support of scores of individuals from coast-to-coast, each a volunteer citizen activist/jounalist, who review tips and compile the verifiable details and documents that are the hallmark of our content.

Since our first post, more than 178,000 visitors have accessed the details compiled uniquely at TVT.

The citizen activists behind TVT wish to extened a big "THANK YOU" to all those who have provided "tips" -- contributed pictures, documents, link suggestions, leads, reports, insight and comments. Your trust and confidence in TVT has allowed us to create a comprehensive resource that thousands of others -- including bloggers, journalists, Members of Congress and other local citizen activists around the country -- have come to rely upon.

We invite feedback and constructive comment and want you to know you are welcome to do that here in "comments" or by contacting us directly and confidentially via

Google News: Indian Gaming

NEWS: Bay Mills Indian Community & Casino Proposals

NEWS: Shinnecock Indian Nation (Gateway Casino Resorts) Casino Proposals

NY Times: Shinnecock Indian Nation

NEWS: Los Coyotes Indian Tribe

NEWS: Los Coyotes / Barwest Barstow Casino Proposals

NEWS: Michael J. Malik, Sr.

NEWS: Marian Ilitch Mapping Social Networks

Play with the interactive tool here or visit

TIP: Search for multiple entries in the database simultaneously by separating their names with the word and

certainly must reads!

Ilitch has backed loosing sports teams and pizza, but casinos in Detroit? 10.09.06 ● Marian Ilitch #1 on "25 Most Powerful People" to Watch 2006” global gaming business o1.oo.o5 ● My Kingdom for a Casino Forbes 05.08.06 ● Big Lagoon’s casino dream awakens north coast journal 07.28.05 ● Shinnecocks launch legal claim to Hamptons land 06.16.05 ● Ilitch Plans to Expand Casino Empire 07.05.05 ● Ilitch outbids partners 04.14.05 ● Ilitch enmeshed in NY casino dispute 03.20.05 ● Marian Ilitch, high roller 03.20.05 ● MGM Mirage to Decide on Offer for Casino in Detroit 04.16.05 ● Secret deal for MotorCity alleged 02.15.05 ● Los Coyotes get new developer 02.08.05 Detroit casino figure to finance Barstow project 07.07.03 ● Indian Band trying to put casino in Barstow 06.04.03 Pizza matriarch takes on casino roles 10.23.02 ● Vanderbilt gets short straw in negotiations for a casino Lansing Journal 10.06.02 ● Indians aim to drive family from tribe in vicious dispute san diego union tribune 04.09.00 ●Malik owns 2000 Michigan Quarter Horse of the Year 01.01.00 ● Detroit Team to run Michigan’s newest Indian casino 05.23.99 Tiger ties tangle Marian Ilitch 04.29.99 ● Three investors must sell their Detroit casino interests 04.25.99 ● Partners’ cash revived election; They say money was crucial to Prop-E 04.25.99 Investors have troubled histories las vegas review journal 04.27.99 ● Investor served probation for domestic assault on 12 year old boy 04.25.99 Can a pair win a jackpot?: local men hope to... 03.17.97

The Verifiable Truth