Thursday, June 11, 2009

Revenue rises at struggling Greektown but Ilitch-owned MotorCity Casino sees declines again

According to various news accounts, the latest revenue results released by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), indicate the overall gaming market in Detroit saw a 4.2% decline in May; however, Greektown Casino-Hotel appears to have bucked the trend for the fourth month in a row with a stunning 7.2% year-over-year revenue increase for the month. (At the time of this post, Data had yet to be posted to the MGCB web site.)

Greektown was the only Detroit casino to see an increase, while revenues at MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino dropped 10.9% and 3.6% respectively.

It should be noted that Greektown in particular has struggled financially in recent years and in May 2008 filed for bankruptcy protection. So, bragging rights about revenue growth at Greektown in May 2009 as compared to May 2008 should be tempered. May 2008 represented perhaps the lowest point in Greektown's financial health.

Despite a major renovation at MotorCity Casino including the addition off theaters, conference and restaurant amenities, and a 400-room luxury hotel, it has generally failed to meet financial expectations since Marian Ilitch acquired control of the property from MGM Mirage in 2005. Both Moody's and Standard & Poor's have now established a steady pattern of declining credit ratings for MotorCity's financial parent during this period.

Among numerous other affiliates, Ilitch controls CCM Merger, Inc. which is the highly leveraged financial parent of Detroit Entertainment LLC (DELLC) which is the entity that does business as (dba) MotorCity Casino. In December 2008, CCM Merger broke its financial convenants and as a result, investors demanded Marian Ilitch inject $45 million cash into the enterprise.

Financial results published by MGCB

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