Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Malik v. White

According to, Michael J. Malik, Sr. has filed suit in federal court against Christopher P. White.

Plaintiff: Michael J Malik, Sr
Defendant: Christopher P White

Case Number: 2:2008cv11444
Filed: April 3, 2008
Type of Lawsuit: Other Contract

Court: Michigan Eastern District Court
Office: Detroit Office [Court Info]
County: Wayne

CA Bill Would Require Federal Approval Before Governor Can Negotiate Gaming Compacts


No Federal Approval, No Casino?

By John Myers, KQED

Legislation to change how, and possibly where, new Indian casinos are built in California cleared its first hurdle today at the state Capitol.

For years, the most controversial part of the tribal gaming process has been casinos proposed for land that either isn’t an ancestral reservation… or land that the federal government hasn’t yet recognized as part of a tribe’s reservation. Critics have derided such proposals as examples of “reservation shopping,” accusing tribes and their deep-pocketed investors of choosing locations solely based on how much money can be made.

The legislation in question, SB 1695, would change the way new casinos are approved, by prohibiting the governor from negotiating with any tribe whose casino land hasn’t yet been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Interior.

(A quick explainer to those who don’t follow this issue much: federal law lays out a long process for non-Indian land to become a reservation. It also requires a tribe to negotiate a formal gaming agreement, known as a compact, with the governor of the state before opening a casino.)

Governor Schwarzenegger has negotiated a number of casino compacts with Indian tribes since he took office, but his most controversial deals have seemed to be ones where the land hadn’t yet secured a federal OK. Most notable on this list: the long saga of the two tribes wanting to build side-by-side casinos in Barstow… even though the tribes’ reservations are in another part of the state. Schwarzenegger agreed to the casinos long before the feds had ruled on the proposal; earlier this year it was rejected.

The bill, authored by Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter), simply says that the governor can’t negotiate a formal compact until the feds have had their say. The current version of the legislation is notably more tame than the original, which would have essentially banned any tribe from opening a casino on land away from its ancestral home… presumably even if that tribe no longer has a reservation (and many don’t).

The bill sailed out of the Senate Governmental Organization committee this afternoon, which Florez chairs (its one dissenting vote: Sen. Pat Wiggins, a Democrat whose northern California district includes one of the tribes that wanted to go to Barstow).

A spokesperson for Schwarzenegger said the guv won’t take a position on the bill until it reaches his desk.

If the Legislature sends it to him, it certainly puts him in an interesting position: if he signs it, it would seem to imply that some mistakes were made in the past. And it would seemingly derail secret negotiations he might currently be conducting with some tribes (though there’s no official confirmation that any casno negotiations are even underway).

But if he vetoes it, critics of the rapid expansion of Indian gambling will say the governor is ignoring the plight of communities that don’t want casinos, and that he’s being inconsistent with his earlier pronouncements about the siting of new tribal gambling facilities.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

MotorCity Casinos fall; Detroit area casinos troubled


Casinos in Detroit hit by ill economy
MGM is only gaming hall to report a slight jump; combined betting revenues flat for month.

Nathan Hurst / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Detroit's three casinos are feeling the sting of the state's economic downturn, even with two new resort hotels and expanded floor space for gambling, according to a report Tuesday to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Combined, the casino revenues in March were flat, rising a meager .02 percent increase over the same period in 2007.

MGM Grand Detroit was the only one to report a revenue increase year over year, gaining 5.94 percent, from $47.4 million in March 2007 to $50.2 million this March.

In contrast, revenue dropped in March at MotorCity and Greektown casinos. MotorCity reported revenues of $41.3 million, down 3.7 percent, and Greektown showed revenues of $32.2 million, down 3.58 percent.

The casinos' report to the Gaming Control Board also revealed that gaming taxes paid by the three casinos in March totaled $11.8 million, down 21 percent from $14.97 million last March. The decline was attributed to an expected tax reduction for the MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity casinos that followed last year's opening of their permanent complexes.

Eugene Christensen, CEO of gaming-analysis firm Christensen Capital Advisors in New York, said the paltry overall gain and downturns at MotorCity and Greektown were expected given Michigan's high jobless and foreclosure rates and consumers' worries about their financial futures.

"What you're seeing in Michigan is in line with other markets across the country," Christensen said. "Given the state of the economy, they're surviving pretty well."

The revenue declines at MotorCity and Greektown follow layoffs at the MGM Grand Detroit complex that began last month. A spokesman for the casino said the cuts would affect fewer than 100 workers, mostly people who worked in non-gaming operations.

Also decided at the Gaming Control Board's Tuesday meeting:

• Greektown Casino received approval to continue negotiating with potential equity partners that would help the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the casino's owner, to comply with debt covenants imposed by the board last year. The requirements mandate the casino maintain an undisclosed debt-to-equity ratio, which it would need additional funding to maintain.

Greektown spokesman Brian Brown said the casino has been in active talks with a number of investors. The casino hopes to close on a deal that would transfer ownership of between 26.5 percent and 30.77 percent of Greektown to an investor, in exchange for cash to ensure the debt ratios are maintained. The Chippewa tribe, unlike MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity, had to secure the majority of the financing for its hotel and expanded gaming facilities from outside investors, Brown said.

Those new facilities are expected to open in 2009.

• The board approved a request from Dubai World, the international investment arm of the United Arab Emirates, to increase its stake in MGM Mirage Inc., the parent of MGM Grand Detroit, from 9.4 percent to 14.75 percent. With that approval, Dubai World could purchase additional MGM shares on the open market. The request must be approved by regulators in states where MGM is licensed to operate.

You can reach Nathan Hurst at (313) 222-2293 or

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Levin has raised $5.7 million for re-election bid

Levin pulls in $667K for re-election campaign

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin reported his first-quarter fund-raising totals today, showing he pulled in just over $667,000 for his re-election campaign during the first three months of the year.

That brings the Detroit Democrat’s totals to $5.7 million in total contributions for this election cycle – $4.8 million of which is from individual donations. And the vast majority of the money he’s raised -- $4.2 million – is still in his warchest.

Stabenow's husband caught in prostitution sting


Report: Stabenow's husband paid prostitute in sting


WASHINGTON -- Speaking for the first time about her husband's acknowledgment that he paid for sex with an alleged prostitute, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow told the Free Press this afternoon she's going through a "very difficult and personal" time and will continue to work through it with her family.

The senator from Lansing did not want to talk about whether she and her husband are still together or how she learned of his being stopped by Troy police in February. According to a police report obtained this morning by the Free Press, Tom Athans -- a liberal radio talk-show executive -- told Troy detectives he paid a prostitute he contacted via the Internet $150 for sex at a Residence Inn in the metro Detroit suburb.

He was not charged with solicitation after being stopped as part of a police sting -- only cited for driving with a suspended license. He was stopped on I-75 driving a car registered to him and Stabenow, whom he married in 2003.

Stabenow spoke to the Free Press a few minutes after delivering a speech on the Senate floor on the need to help Michigan families fighting foreclosure and lost jobs -- a theme she has been pounding on for months, repeating her call for an extension of unemployment benefits.

Her demeanor showed none of the stress she acknowledged she's under now.

"I have a job to do and I'm continuing to be focused on the things that matter most to Michgian families," she told the Free Press.

Athans, 46, issued a statement through a Royal Oak law firm representing him, saying, "No words can fully express how sorry I am. At the time this incident occurred, I took responsibility for my actions and fully cooperated with law enforcement. My family and I are dealing with this matter in a personal and private way."

Without being specific, Stabenow, 57, said her colleagues have been showing their support for her. "I'm very grateful for the prayers and support I'm receiving," she said.

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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

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