Saturday, December 27, 2008

Entity bankrolling Long Island casino plan goes by several different names

William D. Serwer, a partner with law firm of Ehrlich, Foley & Serwer, has formed and represents various casino funding and development affiliates of Marian Ilitch and her partner Michael J. Malik, Sr.

Serwer filed Articles of Organization for Empire Ventures, LLC on 9.11.03. An amendment was filed on 10.16.03 to reflect changing the name to Empire Associates, LLC. Yet another amendment was filed on 2.04.04 to reflect the name had been changed once again to Gateway Casino Resorts, LLC.

Michigan-based Gateway Casino Resorts, LLC is reportedly bankrolling and spearheading efforts to get federal recognition for the Shinnecock Indian Nation of New York and plans to develop and manage a casino project for the Shinnecock tribe in The Hamptons resort area on Long Island.

Serwer filed Articles of Incorporation for Empire Manager, Inc. on 10.18.03. Then an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation was filed 2.04.04 to reflect that entity’s name had been changed to Gateway Manager, Inc.

Gateway Manager Inc.'s annual corporate statement filed 4.01.04 reveals that entity “acts as Manager of Gateway Casino Resorts, L.L.C.” That filing discloses that Michael J. Malik, Sr. and Marian Ilitch are co-Presidents of Gateway Manager, Inc. In addition, Malik serves as the corporation’s Secretary and Ilitch serves as its Treasurer.

Articles of Organization were also filed by Serwer on 3.04.04 for Gateway Funding Associates LLC, which is assumed to be affiliated with Gateway Casino Resorts; likely an entity syndicating financial shares in Gateway Casino Resorts.

Serwer filed Articles of Organization for another possible affiliated entity, Gateway Holdings, LLC, on 6.15.04.

These are just several of the scores of affiliates organized and controlled by Marian Ilitch, the Ilitch family and Michael J. Malik, Sr. (See more comprehensive list)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ilitch Holdings, Inc.: the truth about its genesis

Contrary to corporate spin, it appears Ilitch Holdings, Inc. was formed in 1997 not 1999.

According to official records filed with the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth:

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. was formed in 1997 as M & M Ilitch Holdings, Inc. The name was shortened to Ilitch Holdings, Inc. in 2001.
So it’s unclear why the entity’s Corporate Web site and other materials read, “Ilitch Holdings was established in 1999.”

M & M Ilitch Holdings, Inc. filed Articles of Incorporation on 6.12.97. Marian Bayoff Ilitch was reported as the entity’s Resident Agent.

M & M Ilitch Holdings, Inc. reported Michael Ilitch as President and Marian Ilitch as Secretary/Treasurer in its Annual Report filed 5.15.98. It reported through a Certificate of Change filed 3.30.00 that John M. Kotlar had become Resident Agent.

The name of the entity was changed to Ilitch Holdings, Inc. via an Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation filed 9.18.01.

On 12.13.99, Jennifer A. Bielfield, an attorney with the Miller Canfield law firm filed Articles of Organization for Ilitch Holdings, LLC. Former Ilitch corporate counsel Jay Bielfield was reported as Resident Agent. But less than three months later, on 3.10.00, a Certificate of Dissolution was filed by John M. Kotlar.

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. does not appear to have had any direct affiliation with the short-lived Ilitch Holdings, LLC.

You may also want to review these recent related posts or click on the labels below:

Under Ilitch ownership, MotorCity Casino's credit ratings continue to drop

Standard & Poor’s corporate credit ratings for MotorCity Casino (CCM Merger, Inc.) have continued a negative slide since Marian Ilitch took control of the Detroit gambling hall from Mandalay Resort Group/MGM Mirage in April 2005. This despite Ilitch’s $300 million remodel and expansion of the property which added square feet to the gaming floor and a 400-room, 17-story hotel with amenities; and the relative success of the MGM Grand Detroit Casino.

While MotorCity Casino was controlled and managed by Mandalay Resort Group its corporate credit rating was “B+.” A year after Marian Ilitch (CCM Merger, Inc.) took over complete ownership and management of MotorCity Casino, analysts at Standard & Poor’s dropped the credit rating to “B” and at times assigned a negative outlook.

Analysts had originally been told to anticipate some consistent upswing in revenues and a corresponding decrease in debt ratios with the larger gaming floor and the hotel addition; but instead, MotorCity Casino has failed to produce a greater revenue stream and its debt ratios are questionable.

In September, Standard & Poor’s assigned a negative outlook to MotorCity Casino (CCM Merger, Inc.). And then earlier this month, Standard & Poor’s again dropped MotorCity Casino’s credit rating to a "B-" and assigned a negative ratings outlook. Among other concerns, Standard & Poor’s has discovered declining cash flow at MotorCity Casino.

Standard & Poor’s defines these ratings as having significant speculative risk but suggests an entity with a “B” rating generally has the capacity to meet its financial commitments. But with a "B-" rating and a negative outlook assigned, Standard & Poor’s suggests any further adverse business, financial or economic conditions will likely impair MotorCity Casino’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitment.

According to the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), of those entities Standard & Poor’s assigns a “B” rating, 35.76% experience default; and of those with a rating of “CCC,” the next ratings step down from “B” ratings, 54.38% experience default.

In acquiring MotorCity Casino and completing its expansion and remodel, Marian Ilitch (CCM Merger, Inc.) has reportedly amassed approximately $1 billion of debt.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

PKC, L.L.C. is yet another of the many affiliates of Mike and Marian Ilitch.

Like TVT’s recent revelation recognizing Seven I’s Inc., TVT has realized that Mike Ilitch and Marian Bayoff Ilitch formed PKC, L.L.C. and filed Articles of Organization in 1998, originally establishing the entity for a duration of 30 years. According to Experian and other tracking entities, PKC, L.L.C. has affiliations with Little Caesars Enterprises (Little Caesars Pizza Kit fund-raising programs) and Blue Line Foodservice.

Originally, PKC, L.L.C. (aka PKC, L.L.C of Michigan) was registered as a foreign entity that anticpated doing buisness in more than three dozen states, but those registrations were shortly recalled or reconstructed. PKC, L.L.C. is currently "active" according to the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DL&EG).

In March 2000, the Ilitches established John M. Kotlar as Resident Agent of record for PKC, L.L.C. Kotlar is Vice President Tax Affairs at Ilitch Holdings, Inc. and serves as Resident Agent for various Ilitch-affiliated entities.

In 2006, Dykema Gossett PLLC filed amendments to PKC, L.L.C.’s Articles of Organization changing the duration of the life of the limited liability company from 30 years to “perpetual.” Dykema attorney Steven E. Grob, who specializes in tax and estate matters, also recorded that the entity would be “manager-managed.” Michael Ilitch signed the certificate amending the Articles of Organization as “Manager/Chairperson” of KPC, L.L.C.

See Updated List of Ilitch/Malik Affiliates.

UPDATED: The web of companies behind Ilitch & Malik casino syndication partners

In addition to the Ilitch Family's established brands (entities that fall under the umbrella of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.), the majority of entities listed below are controlled by or have/had an affiliation with Marian Ilitch, Mike Ilitch, Michael J. Malik or their various partners in casino syndication opportunities.

Records on file with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Development indicate most of these listed entities are registered at one of two locations:
  • 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 (The Fox Office Centre headquarters of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.); or
  • 280 W Maple, Birmingham, MI 48009 (the law offices of Ehrlich, Foley & Serwer).
In most cases, the entities listed here have identified one of the following individuals as its “registered agent” on file with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Development:
  • Cheryl Scott-Dube,
  • John M. Kotlar,
  • Michael J. Malik, Sr.,
  • William D. Serwer
  • Joseph H. Ehrlich
The following are the many restaurant, entertainment, tourism, gaming and development entities believed to be (or have been) controlled by or affiliated with Marian Ilitch, Mike Ilitch or Michael J. Malik, Sr. The majority of these entities are related to various casino/development projects:
Atwater Casino Group
Atwater Companies, LLC
Atwater Detroit Corp
Atwater Development Company
Atwater Entertainment Associates LLC
Atwater Entertainment Productions, LLC
The Atwater Fund, LLC

Atwater Limousine Service
Atwater Management Corp. (DELLC)

Ballpark Operations Management, Inc.

Barstow Citizens for Real Economic Development
Barwest Gaming
Barwest Holdings, LLC
BarWest LLC
Barwest Manager, Inc.
Barwest, Inc.
Blue Line Distributing, Inc.
Blue Line Foods, Inc.
Blue Line Foodservice Distribution

Blue Water Equities, L.L.C.
Blue Water Holdings I, LLC
Blue Water Resorts Manager, Inc.
Blue Water Resorts, LLC
Border Crossing South, LLC
Caesar Fund Inc.

Cass Avenue LLC
Casino Funding Enterprises LLC
CB Property Holdings, Inc.
CB Property Investments LLC (Charlotte Beach)
CCM Merger, Inc (merged with Circus Circus Michigan)
CCM Merger Sub, Inc.
Champion Foods
Christopher P. Ilitch Revocable Trust

Chromatics (a DELLC dba)
Citizens For Fair & Responsible Gaming (a DELLC dba)
City Theater
Classic Buffet (a DELLC dba)
Classics Buffet (a DELLC dba)
Club Metro (a DELLC dba)
Club Metro Signature (a DELLC dba)
Cobo Arena (an Olympia Entertainment dba)
Dellc or DELLC (Detroit Entertainment LLC dba)
Detroit Entertainment LLC (dba MotorCity Casino, etc.)
Detroit Tigers, Inc.
Detroit Tigers Latin American Operations, Inc.

Detroit Red Wings
Downriver Properties & Land Development, Inc.

Elizabeth Street Properties LLC
Empire Associates, LLC
Empire Ventures, LLC
The Fox Theater (an Olympia Entertainment dba)
Gaming Entertainment Michigan (GEM) LLC
Gateway Casino Resorts, LLC (Hamptons/Long Island, NY Casino)
Gateway Funding Associates
Gateway Holdings, LLC
Gateway Manager, Inc.

Grand River Deli (a DELLC dba)
GP Development LLC
Hawaii Entertainment Associates, LLC
Hawaiian Manager, LLC
Holomua Hawaii
High Octane Café (a DELLC dba)
Hockeytown Cafe (an Olympia Entertainment dba)
I.E. Enterprises
IH Gaming, Inc. (successor of Circus Circus Michigan, Inc.)
IH Indemnity, LLC
IH Management, Inc.
I.H. Management, L.L.C.

Ilitch Holdings, Inc.
Innkeepers Managment LLC (owns Thomas Edison Inn)
Iridescence Experience (a DELLC dba)
Iridescence Restaurant (a DELLC dba)
Joe Louis Arena (an Olympia Entertainment dba)
JR Property Holdings, LLC (Heather Lufkins Robinson lawsuit)
J.R. Michigan LLC (Johnny Rockets)

Lakeland Tigers Food Service, Inc.
LC/CS Westland Inc. (Little Caesars/Chicken Shack)
LCB Barwest Holdings, LLC
LCB Barwest Manager, Inc.
LCB Barwest, LLC
Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. (multiple dba's)
Little Caesars International (See:
List of 28 Other Assumed Names)
Little Caesars Pizza
Malik Developments Co

M&M Ventures, Inc.
M & M Ilitch Holdings, Inc. (est. 1997; changed name to Ilitch Holdings, Inc. in 2001)
M & M Realty Holdings, LLC
M & M Realty Holdings II, LLC
Michael Ilitch Trust
Michael J. Malik, Sr. Revocable Living Trust

MJM Bay Mills, Inc
MJM Blue Water, LLC
MJM Blue Water Investors, LLC
MJM Border Holdings, Inc.
MJM Charlotte Beach, LLC
MJM Consulting Associates, LLC
MJM Development Holdings, LLC (?) Delaware 8/21/06
MJM Enterprises
MJM Enterprises Development Co. (
North American Gaming
MJM Interactive Venture, LLC
MJM Investments, LLC
MJM Manager, Inc.
MJM Manistee Inc.
MJM Music Productions, LLC
MJM Pleasant Family Holdings, LLC
MJM Retail Ventures, LLC
MJM Royal Properties, LLC
MJM Security Venture, LLC
MLC Financial Corporation

MM Annuity I, LLC
MM Annuity II, LLC
MM Family Mineral Ventures, LLC (Michael Malik)
MM Holdings, LLC
MMI Holdings LLC
MRS Holding Company, LLC
Moose Building, LLC
MotorCity Casino (a Detroit Entertainment LLC dba)
MotorCity e-cash (a DELLC dba)
MotorCity Memories (a DELLC dba)
MotorCity Millionaires (a DELLC dba)
MotorCity Pit Stop (a DELLC dba)
MCC Radio (a DELLC dba)
MCC Records (a DELLC dba)
MCC Recording Studio (a DELLC dba)
MotorCity Casino Radio
(a DELLC dba)
MotorCity Casino Records (a DELLC dba)
MV Land Holdings, LLC
North American Gaming Company
(MJM Enterprises Development Company)
Northern Michigan Food Services Company
Olympia Arenas, Inc.
Olympia Aviation, LLC (Tigers/Red Wing Airplane)
Olympia Building Corp.
Olympia Development, LLC
Olympia Development of Michigan, LLC
Olympia Entertainment, Inc.
Olympia Entertainment Overdrive (a DELLC dba)
Olympia Entertainment Tiger Ballpark, Inc. (dba Comerica Park)
Olympia Land Holdings, LLC
Paradice Entertainment and Gaming, LLC
Paradice Feed Company, LLC
Paradice Hunt Club
Paradice Hunt Club II, LLC
Paradice Marketing and Sales, LLC
PKC, L.L.C. of Michigan
Ren Cen 4 Theaters, Inc.

Renegade Charters, LLC
Renegade Charters Manistee, LLC
Second-City, Detroit (an Olympia Entertainment dba)
Seven I's Inc.
Seven I's Realty Holdings, LLC
Signature Club (a DELLC dba)
Taillights (a DELLC dba)
The Atwater Fund, LLC

Tres Vite, Inc.
TS Ventures (Twist & Shout Gourmet Pretzels)
Uptown Entertainment
Vapors (a DELLC dba)
West Grand River Lofts, LLC
X.R.N. L.L.C.
Z.L.M. Corporation

Z.L.M. L.L.C.
Z.R.X. L.L.C
Please contact us via comment or email if you have questions or wish to suggest additions or corrections to these lists. Thanks to all those who have provide insight and information that's helped build this list.

S&P's fundamental outlook on the gaming industry is negative


Chancy Times for Casino Companies
S&P's fundamental outlook on the gaming industry is negative, as big players like MGM Mirage and Las Vegas Sands grapple with economic weakness and heavy debt

By Esther Kwon
From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Based on research done during a recent visit to Las Vegas, Standard & Poor's Equity Research's fundamental outlook for the casinos and gaming industry continues to be negative.

Though the private equity boom in the sector led to significantly higher valuations, we see high debt loads compounding difficulties from economic weakness. Debt-to-EBITDA ratios for casino/gaming companies that file public financial information with the Securities & Exchange Commission rose to 7.5 in the 12 months ended June 30, 2008 from 4.5 in 2002, according to Standard & Poor's Credit Market Services, which operates independently of Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services.

With cash flows declining, debt-burdened properties need to keep occupancies high and at the same time cut costs to remain in compliance with debt covenants. However, deteriorating service levels could make that difficult, and we expect price discounting to intensify. We expect lodging revenue per available room, or RevPAR, declines of 5% to 8% in 2009, but we see those of casino hotel rooms falling more. (See Complete Story)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Quid pro quo? Congressman takes contributions from Casino Syndicator, Lobbyist after carrying their bill

Quid pro quo? Was that the intent or understanding of contributions delivered to Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), a senior member of the Rules Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives?

TVT has previously reported that Detroit-based casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr., made a first-time $2,000 political contribution to Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings on 10.10.08. And we explored the circumstances that might have motivated that Malik contribution.

Now, TVT has discovered that apparently ten days before Malik showed his generosity to Hastings, Malik’s lobbyist, former Rep. Alan Wheat (D-MO) also contributed $2,000 to Rep. Hastings. And there are other circumstances that suggest the contributions from Malik and Wheat were tied together.

It does not appear that either Malik or Wheat had ever contributed to Rep. Hastings’ political committees prior to 9.30.08.

As it turns out, Rep. Hastings, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, had carried a Resolution into the House last summer (H.R. 1298) which was the vehicle by which H.R. 2176 came to the floor and was put to a full vote. Had the later bill been approved, it would have paved the way for Malik to build and manage an Indian casino in Port Huron, MI.

Wheat Government Relations, a D.C. lobbying firm headed by former Rep. Alan Wheat (D-MO) has represented both the Bay Mills Indian Community (1998-2008) and Blue Water Resorts (2004-2008), the syndicated enterprise bankrolling the Port Huron casino scheme. Blue Water Resorts is tied directly to Michael Malik. Additionally, a lobbying disclosure report indicates Blue Water Resorts is “affiliated” with the Bay Mills Indian Community; that is, paying the tribe’s lobbying bills and directing the tribe’s lobbying activity. Blue Water Resorts is also affiliated with MJM Enterprises & Development, another lobbyist employer supporting the Port Huron casino scheme. Malik clearly is directing the entire effort from the wings, hiding behind these various affiliates.

Wheat, Malik and the Bay Mills tribe have been trying to get several bills shaped as land claims settlements approved by Congress since 2002; but their other attempts to get congressional action that could result in the ability to build a casino in Port Huron date back to 1998. The action by Rep. Hastings represents the first time one of their schemes has made its way onto the House floor for a vote.

Disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicate as follows:
    Hastings for Congress reported receiving a $2,000 contribution on 9.30.08 from Alan Wheat, CEO at Wheat Government Realtions,1201 South Ends Street, Arlington, VA 22202.

    Hastings for Congress reported receiving a $2,000 contribution on 10.10.08 from Michael J. Malik, Sr., a Developer at Wheat Government Relations, 1201 South Ends Street, Suite Two, Arlington, VA 22202. This record is makes false representations.
Despite what’s represented by Hastings for Congress in its disclosure records, Michael Malik is not employed by Wheat Government Relations nor is his primary address in Arlington, VA.

Did Hastings' treasurer get those details off the check the committee received? How did the treasurer make such an error when reporting contributions that were made at different times? And by different people? Odd.

But then again, maybe not.

Consider that Malik’s affiliates Blue Water Resorts and Gateway Casino Resorts employ the Wheat firm as lobbyists; as do the Bay Mills Indian Community and Shinnecock Indian Nation, two of Malik’s business partners. Malik is paying for and directing the lobbying activity of all four entities.

Malik is a business/real estate developer, casino syndicator and self-identified entrepreneur who is engaged in various partnerships with members of Detroit’s Ilitch family and whose various business enterprises are mainly located at the headquarters of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 -- not in Arlington, VA.

And curiously, both Hastings for Congress transaction records reported the addresses at 1202 South Ends Street. However, Wheat Government Relations is actually located at 1202 South Eads Street.

There's little doubt that these contributions weren't actually bundled even though they're reported to be received ten days apart. If the checks had been delivered directly and separately by their makers, the details wouldn't have been confused. Malik would not have been recorded as an employee of Wheat Government Relations nor his address listed in Arlington, VA.

There can be little question about the motivations of Malik and Wheat.

But there should be a lot more questions put to Malik, Wheat and Hastings.

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

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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

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