Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Detroit News dashboard demonstrates declining state of Michigan's economy

This dashboard chart below accompanied an article published 9.23.08 in the Detroit News in which the lead paragraph read:

Michigan's economic rank falls
Median income declines as home values shrink more than U.S. average.

"By nearly every measure, Michigan has lost ground economically compared to the rest of the country, according to census figures released today. "

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Barstow Mayor and Detroit Casino Syndicator under investigation; their casino plans dead in Sacramento

Both the Big Lagoon Rancheria and the Los Coyotes Indian tribes have terminated their Sacramento lobbying contracts. And while Barwest LLC engaged Governmental Advocates, Inc. last Spring; the firm, previously engaged by the two tribes, has not reported any payments from BarWest for lobbying activity this year.

This appears to suggest that all efforts in Sacramento to advance a Barstow casino have ceased.

It's reported that the BarWest double billboard, erected at one time on property the Detroit casino syndicators reportedly control in Barstow, has fallen into extremem disrepair and stands as an icon for the state of the Barstow casino project.

Barstow's Mayor Lawrence Dale stands for re-election next month. For the last eight years the Mayor has made the BarWest casino the cornerstone of his plans for economic development in the declining desert town. Now that the casino appears to be dead, what does the Mayor propose to turn around the local economy?

For nearly 19 months, the lobbying and campaign finance reporting practices of BarWest and its principal Michael J. Malik, Sr., have been under investigation in Sacramento. BarWest and its principles injected nearly $200,000 into local Barstow politics in recent years -- that's more than had been spent on politics in Barstow for the entire second half of the 20th Century.

Barstow Mayor Lawrence Dale is reportedly under investigation by the San Bernardino County District Attorney.

Revenues at Ilitch owned MotorCity Casino fall 9.46% in September; down $8 million this year.

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) , MotorCity Casino's revenues for September were down 9.46% as compared to the gambling hall's September 2007 revenues.

For the 12 month period ending September 30, MotorCity Casino's revenues are down nearly $12.8 million (2.63%) as compared to the previous 12 months. Revenues have fallen 9 out of the last 12 months as compared to the same months the previous year.

The Ilitch-owned property opened its expanded gambling hall in June 2007 and a 400-room hotel in November 2007.

The casino/hotel owner Marian Ilitch borrowed nearly $1 billion to acquire, expand, and finance MotorCity Casino.

Both Moody's and Standard & Poor's have been forced to downgrade MotorCity Casino's credit ratings since Ilitch acquired 100% control of the enterprise. Most recently on 9.29.08, Standard & Poor's changed its ratings outlook on CCM Merger, Inc. from stable to negative.

MotorCity Casino is a d/b/a for Detroit Entertainment LLC. CCM Merger, Inc. is the parent of Detroit Entertainment LLC.

MotorCity Casino revenues down 9.46% over 2007


September revenue up at MGM Grand Detroit, down at other two casinos

Nathan Hurst / The Detroit New

DETROIT -- The city's three casinos collected 4.6 percent more revenue this September than last, though only one gambling hall -- MGM Grand Detroit -- saw individual gains.

That's according to the latest figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the state's regulatory agency.

-- MGM Grand Detroit collected $44.8 million last month, up 26.98 percent from September 2007.

-- The Ilitch-owned MotorCity Casino brought in $36.11 million in September, down 9.46 percent from last year.

-- Greektown Casino, which filed for bankruptcy in late May, took in $25.22 million last month, down 4.15 percent from September 2007.

Detroit's casinos collected $106.13 million last month, up from $101.47 in September 2007.

Though revenue was up, the state collected less in taxes -- $9.6 million this September versus $12.3 last year -- because of scheduled tax rollbacks at MGM Grand and MotorCity related to the opening of those two companies' permanent casinos and hotels.

Greektown, the city's smallest casino, will have its permanent facility fully open by early next year.

Find this article at: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081008/ENT08/810080439

Detroit Casino Revnues drop in September


Sept. revenue down for all 3 Detroit casinos

Detroit’s three casinos collectively reported their lowest total monthly revenue for 2008 at $106.1 million for September, according to the latest report from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

The total was the worst since $110 million in June.

All three casinos showed revenue declines from August, with MGM Grand Detroit Casino dropping from $50 million to $45 million for the month.

MotorCity Casino followed closely at $36 million, down from August’s $41 million.

Greektown Casino L.L.C. had the smallest decline, to $25 million from $27 million in August.

The state collected $9.6 million in wagering taxes for the month, the least collected since June’s $9.8 million.

Revenue is the amount casinos keep from the money wagered, after paying winners but before paying wages, taxes, utilities and other expenses.

Indianz.com: Judge to consider Shinnecock Nation recognition


A federal judge says he will determine whether the Interior Department has "unreasonably delayed" the Shinnecock Nation of New York from federal recognition.

The tribe submitted its petition to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1978. Despite being at the top of the list for an answer, the tribe is still waiting.

Judge Joseph F. Bianco will hold a telephone conference tomorrow to determine how to proceed with the case.

Get the Story: Federal judge orders Shinnecocks' case reviewed (Newsday 10/5)

Court Decision: Shinnecock Nation v. Kempthorne (September 30, 2008)

Dykema lobbyists disclose they are behind Ilitch backed plans for Port Huron casino

According to official documents filed on 10.09.2005 with the U.S. Congress, nearly a week after the 110th Congress adjourned, the lobbying/law firm Dykema Gossett disclosed it had been lobbying on behalf of Michael J. Malik's Blue Water Resorts since 09.05.2008.

The official disclosure document indicates that two lobbyists, Nancy Barbour and Elliott Hall (also a lobbyist for Corning, Inc. and Ford Motor Company), were lobbying for the passage of H.R. 2176, a bill that was overwhelmingly defeated a little more than two month earlier (06.25.2008) on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

OpenSecrets.org reports that attorneys affiliated with Dykema Gossett have contributed nearly $320,000 to federal election committees during the 2008 election cycle.

Blue Water Resorts has paid lobbyists at least $585,000. Another Malik controlled casino affiliate MJM Enterprises Development, founded in 1993, has paid lobbyists $710,000. The Bay Mills Indian Community has paid lobbyists $1,670,000. That's a total of almost $3 million to federal lobbyists.

Blue Water Resorts, L.L.C., was formed by Detroit casino syndicator Michael Malik on 07.10.2001. A second entity, Blue Water Resorts Manager, Inc. was formed by a Malik attorney on 09.06.2005. Both entities are believed to be the financing mechanisms for a proposed Port Huron Indian casino that Malik has proposed in partnership with the Bay Mills Indian Community.

Attorneys affiliatd with Dykema Gossett have been intimately involved with Malik's schemes for the proposed Port Huron casino dating back to Gov. John Engler's last term in office; notably, R. Lance Boldrey, a former aide and counselor to Engler who negotiated an agreement between the Bay Mills tribe and the State of Michigan that would pave the way for the off-reservation casino, and Richard McClellan, Engler's close friend and political operative.

Also backing Malik's Port Huron casino scheme are members of Detroit's Ilitch Family (Mike Ilitch & Marian Ilitch). Dykema represented Marian Ilitch in her acquisition of complete control of Detroit's MotorCity Casino in several public offerings intended to raise capital for Ilitch's purchase and expansion of MotorCity Casino. Malik was once a partner in MotorCity Casino but failed to receive a gaming license from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

Malik and senior members of the Ilitch Family have contributed nearly $800,000 to federal campaign committees during their pursuits for a Port Huron casino.

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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

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certainly must reads!

Ilitch has backed loosing sports teams and pizza, but casinos in Detroit? Forbes.com 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 newsday.com 06.16.05 ● Ilitch Plans to Expand Casino Empire RGTonline.com 07.05.05 ● Ilitch outbids partners MichiganDaily.com 04.14.05 ● Ilitch enmeshed in NY casino dispute detnews.com 03.20.05 ● Marian Ilitch, high roller freep.com 03.20.05 ● MGM Mirage to Decide on Offer for Casino in Detroit rgtonline.com 04.16.05 ● Secret deal for MotorCity alleged freep.com 02.15.05 ● Los Coyotes get new developer desertdispatch.com 02.08.05 Detroit casino figure to finance Barstow project LasVegasSun.com 07.07.03 ● Indian Band trying to put casino in Barstow signonSanDiego.com 06.04.03 Pizza matriarch takes on casino roles detnews.com 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 Michigan.gov 01.01.00 ● Detroit Team to run Michigan’s newest Indian casino detnews.com 05.23.99 Tiger ties tangle Marian Ilitch detnews.com 04.29.99 ● Three investors must sell their Detroit casino interests gamblingmagazine.com 04.25.99 ● Partners’ cash revived election; They say money was crucial to Prop-E detnews.com 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 detnews.com 04.25.99 Can a pair win a jackpot?: local men hope to... crainsdetroit.com 03.17.97

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