Friday, January 23, 2009

MotorCity Casino had worst year since 2005 -- despite larger gambing hall and new 400-room luxury hotel

According to the Michigan Gambling Control Board, annual revenues reported by MotorCity Casino for 2008 were the lowest realized by the Ilitch-owned casino since 2005; even though construction on MotorCity Casino's $300 million renovation/expansion project was in full swing during 2006 & 2007.
  • On 11.30.05, MotorCity Casino broke ground on construction.
  • The casino expanded its gambling floor by a third and unveiled 100,000 square feet of updated gaming space to the public on 6.07.07.
  • A 400-room luxury hotel addition opened to the public on 11.29.07.

Nevertheless, post construction revenues don't reflect the larger entertainment complex.

On 1.16.09, Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of MotorCity Casino's parent (CCM Merger, Inc.) for the second time in a six week period.

CCM Merger, Inc.. is seeking to amend loan convenants to allow for even higher debt ratios despite telling investors originally that such ratios would be lower after construction was completed. As of 12.31.08, CCM Merger will be in violation of the existing convenant absent this amendment.

Investors are rejecting the idea of amendment convenants and instead have called for the casino's owner, Marian Ilitch to inject more cash into the Casino.

Crain's Detroit Business has reported that Ilitch was already forced to inject $25 million into the casino in September 2008 in order to avoid being in violation of loan covenants at the end of the 3rd Quarter.

Lowered credit rating may make it more difficult for Ilitch owned casino to raise cash


GAMING: Bond rating lowered

Moody's credit rating agency has downgraded the bond rating of MotorCity Casino's parent company, CCM Merger Inc., potentially making it more difficult for the casino and hotel owned by Marian Ilitch to raise cash.

Jacci Woods, a spokeswoman for the casino, said Thursday she could only say that CCM Merger was negotiating changes to its credit agreements to bring the terms that were set in 2005 "to levels consistent with those of other gaming operations in the United States."

The difficult economy has cut into casino revenues.

Motor City ended 2008 with $465 million in annual revenue, down from $480 million the year before.

Marian Ilitch, the wife of pizza-sports-entertainment mogul Mike Ilitch, is the sole owner of CCM Merger.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Slush fund bankrolled by Aronoff paid for fancy portrait of County Executive

A 527 Political Committee appears to have been a backdoor expense account for Oakland County (MI) Executive L. Brooks Patterson -- who has announced he's exploring a run for Governor of Michigan.

Among other things, that PAC known as “County Executive Administrative Account” paid $5,000 to The Portraits of Robert Maniscalco, Inc. located in Grosse Pointe, MI.

The Maniscalco Gallery’s Web site brags that the artist has “created portraits for a number of prominent individuals.” Among Michigan’s public officials, Maniscalco brags he has painted portraits of Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.

Maniscalco was commissioned to paint the portraits of Mike and Marian Ilitch, Detroit billionaires, which hang on opposite walls in the couple's dining room. They own the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, MotorCity Casino and founded Little Caesars Pizza.

Disclosures note that “County Executive Administrative Account” (527 Committee) was organized by attorneys/lobbyists at Dykema Gossett PLLC. That firm has been Oakland County’s exclusive D.C. lobbying firm since 2003.

The 527 Committee was funded primarily by Action Strategies, Inc., an affiliate of the Landon Companies (Daniel Aronoff’s company), and Fried Saperstein Abbatt PC. Attorney Harold Fried has represented Aronoff’s interests.

Aronoff and Fried, who have development interests in Michigan and Florida, are at the center of a scandal and investigation involving a $10 million earmark for a Florida interchange advanced by Alaska’s Congressman Don Young -- among other pork, he advanced the "Bridge-to-Nowhere."

MotorCity Casino Owner Violates Convenants, Downgraded

MotorCity Casino Violates Loan Covenants, Downgraded

By Bill Rochelle

CCM Merger Inc., the indirect owner of the MotorCity Casino in Detroit, received a second downgrade inside six weeks from Moody’s Investors Service on Jan. 16 following the announcement it needs an amendment to a loan covenant for the Dec. 31 quarter.

The busted covenant resulted from gaming revenue that declined 11 percent in December.

Moody’s conjectured that CCM may need for cash to be invested by the owner before it lands a covenant amendment.

The $300 million in senior unsecured notes went down to Caa3. Both ratings were down one level.

Net revenue for 12 months ended in December was $480 million, Moody’s said.

A competing casino in Detroit, Greektown Holdings LLC, has been in Chapter 11 reorganization since May. Greektown is owned by a tribe of the Chippewa Indians.

Ratings Action: Moody's downgrades CCM Merger to Caa1 from B3; negative outlook

Ilitch Casino's credit downgraded again; $50M bond payment coming due; may need to raise cash


MotorCity credit rating downgraded, may need to raise cash

By Nancy Kaffer

January has brought a slate of bad news for CCM Merger Inc., the financial entity that serves as parent company to MotorCity Casino, owned by Marian Ilitch.

Moody’s Investors Services has downgraded CCM’s credit rating for the second time in two months, questioning the company’s ability to meet its year-end debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) ratio without amending its credit agreements.

For those amendments to happen, a statement on Moody’s Web site said, CCM’s owners might need to throw in more equity.

Depressed gaming revenues — down 11 percent in December — could offset incremental earnings from the completion of the casino’s expansion and the subsequent cessation of significant capital spending, according to the Moody’s statement. This could result in negative cash flow in 2009 and an increased debt-to-EBITDA ratio, currently at a debt limit of about seven times CCM’s EBITDA.

Those concerns come on the heels of a $25 million cash equity contribution made in September, necessary for CCM to meet its Sept. 30 debt-to-EBITDA covenant.

CCM’s negative rating outlook will affect about $1 billion in rated debt, according to a statement on Moody’s Web site.

The downgrade was prompted in part, according to the statement, by a CCM disclosure that it will need to seek such amendments from its bank lending group in order to comply with its bank loan leverage covenant for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31.

The statement noted that a $50 million Economic Development Corporation bond matures in May.

MotorCity ended 2008 with $464 million in revenue, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, and controls 33 percent of Detroit’s gaming market.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ilitch-owned Casino enterprise takes another credit rating hit; carrying very high default risk

On 1.16.09, Moody's dropped its credit rating for CCM Merger, Inc. a parent of Detroit's MotorCity Casino to "Caa1" from "B3." That was the second time in two months that Moody's knocked down the casino's credit score.

"Obligors rated Caa are judged to be of poor standing and are subject to very high default risk."
MotorCity Casino is carrying $1 billion of debt and a 7:1 Debt-to-EBITDA ratio; dangerously close to breaking lending convenants. Last week "investors" called on Mrs. Marian Ilitch, the casino's owner, to inject her own cash into the gambling establishment but instead Ilitch is seeking to lift various of its lending convenants.

It's also Moody's opinion that an additional equity contribution by CCM's owner may be needed in order for the company to obtain the required amendments. A $25 million contribution by CCM's owners of cash equity to repay debt was made in September 2008 that helped CCM meet its September 30, 2008 debt/EBITDA covenant.

Moody's downgrades MotorCity Casino's Credit Ratings for the second time in two months

Rating Action: CCM Merger, Inc.

Moody's downgrades CCM Merger to Caa1 from B3; negative outlook

Approximately $1 Billion of Rated Debt Affected.

New York, January 16, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service today lowered CCM Merger, Inc.'s ("CCM") ratings in response to the company's recent disclosure that it will need to seek an amendment from its bank lending group in order to maintain compliance with its bank loan leverage covenant for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008. The rating outlook is negative.

The following ratings were lowered:

  • Corporate Family Rating to Caa1 from B3
  • Probability of Default Rating to Caa1 from B3
  • $100 million 1st lien revolver expiring 2010 to B3 (LGD3, 34%) from B2 (LGD3, 34%)
  • $606 million 1st lien term loan B due 2012 to B3 (LGD3, 34%) from B2 (LGD3, 34%)
  • $300 million 8% senior unsecured notes due 2013 to Caa3 (LGD5, 87%) from Caa2 (LGD5, 87%)
Although CCM posted a slight increase in October monthly gaming revenues (2008 versus 2007) following the grand opening of its permanent casino facility, an 11% decline in December monthly gaming revenue -- the largest monthly decline in CCM's recent history -- placed the company in the position of not being able to meet its year-end debt/EBITDA bank loan covenant.

Moody's also believes the large decline in December 2008 monthly gaming revenues suggests that the pressure on earnings from weakened economic conditions has increased further. This heightened earnings pressure could more than offset the expected benefit to free cash flow in 2009 from the incremental earnings generated by the expansion and from substantially lower capital spending. As a consequence, free cash flow could be negative in 2009 and debt/EBITDA -- currently at about 7 times -- could increase further.

The negative outlook considers the uncertainty with regard to CCM's ability to obtain waivers and/or amendments and maintain access to its revolver availability. This availability will be needed to satisfy the May 2009 maturity of a $50 million Economic Development Corporation (EDC) bond. The negative outlook also incorporates Moody's opinion that an additional equity contribution by CCM's owner may be needed in order for the company to obtain the required amendments. A $25 million contribution by CCM's owners of cash equity to repay debt was made in September 2008 that helped CCM meet its September 30, 2008 debt/EBITDA covenant.

Ratings would likely be lowered if CCM is unable to obtain acceptable amendments or waivers from its lenders. The rating outlook could be revised to stable if covenant compliance issues are resolved in a manner that results in a sustainable capital structure and covenant compliance going forward.

Moody's last rating action for CCM was on December 4, 2008, when the company's corporate family rating was lowered to B3 from B2 and a negative rating outlook was assigned.

The principal methodology used in rating CCM was Moody's Global Gaming Methodology, which can be found at in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory, in the rating Methodologies subdirectory. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory.

CCM Merger, Inc. indirectly owns and operates the MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Michigan. The company generated net revenue of about $480 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008.

New York
Keith Foley
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Andris G. Kalnins
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Plea hearing in former Tribal Chair's fraud case postponed for three weeks


Hearing delayed for ex-Mashpee Wampanoag leader

BOSTON (AP) - A plea hearing in federal court has been delayed for the former chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe who is accused of fraud and embezzlement.

Glenn Marshall appeared before U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel on Wednesday, but his new attorney Paul Markham was given three weeks to review the case. Markham said Marshall asked him to take the case Tuesday night.

A new plea hearing is set for Feb. 11.

Marshall agreed in December to plead guilty to violating campaign finance laws while working with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He faces 41 to 51 months in prison.

Marshall stepped down as tribal chairman in 2007, after it became public that he was a convicted rapist and had lied about his military past.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Judge Huck orders Jack Utsick to return to Miami for SEC deposition no later than Jan. 28th

A Miami-based U.S. District Judge, Paul C. Huck, has ordered defendant Jack Utsick (John P. Utsick) to appear in Miami, Florida for a Deposition with attorneys representing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) no later than 1.28.09. Judge Huck filed the order on 1.15.09.

Utsick has attempted to maintain asylum in Brazil where he claims he now lives. Among other things, Utsick represented that the expense of travel prohibited him from returning to the U.S.

Judge Huck ordered the SEC to pay reasonable travel expenses associated with Utsick's return to Miami. The Judge denied Utsick's attempts to win advances on legal expenses.

The SEC alleges that Utsick, a one-time entertainment mogul, was running what amounted to a $300 million ponzi scheme. This is allegedly how he received new capital to pay previous investors and produce theatrical productions, concerts and festivals around the world.

Judge Huck has also ordered all parties in the primary matter to complete Discovery by 1.28.09. But, then again, Judge Huck has attempted to compel discovery on several previous occassions.

Michael I. Goldberg, an attorney at the Akerman Senterfitt law firm, is the court appointed Receiver in the matter. Goldberg has filed numerous actions against individuals who are alleged to have received fraudlent "profit payments" from Utsick or whom otherwise were indebted to Utsick, Worldwide Entertainment Group or any of several other Utsick partners and affiliates. (See: Receivership's Web Site)

Among those who Goldberg has charged: Paris Hilton; two of Australia's top concert promoters Michael Chugg and Kevin Jacobsen; and Detroit-based casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr., who has strong ties to the Ilitch family (Mike & Marian Ilitch) owners of Olympia Entertainment, Detroit Tigers (MLB), Detroit Red Wings (NHL), Detroit's Fox Theater and MotorCity Casino.

The Ilitch Family controls a significant number of Detroit's top theatrical, sports and concert venues including Cobo Arena, Fox Theatre, The City Theatre, Joe Louis Arena, Comerica Park, MotorCity's Sound Board Theatre and the Masonic Temple Theatre.

Slots No Jackpot for Californa; Schwarzenegger says off-reservation casinos not likely in his lifetime


Tribal Slots No Jackpot for California

By Peter Hecht

As California government verges on going broke, one long-promised elixir – Indian casino gambling – is proving to be not such a sure bet...

...But in recent years, some casino deals pushed by Schwarzenegger couldn't pass political muster.

The governor signed a creative, yet controversial deal to allow two poor, isolated tribes from San Diego and Humboldt counties to build side-by-side hotels and 2,000-slot casinos in Barstow in exchange for the state getting 16 percent to 25 percent of profits.

The deal failed in the Legislature amid vehement opposition from powerful Southern California tribes, calling the planned Barstow development – along Interstate 15 to Las Vegas – an egregious case of "reservation shopping."

The Barstow deal was encouraged by Schwarzenegger to settle a lawsuit from an Indian band seeking to build a casino on tribal lands bordering a pristine North Coast estuary and state parklands. The Barstow tribal partnership has since collapsed.

Virgil Moorehead, chairman of the 23-member Big Lagoon tribe, said he is returning to court to build a casino on its Humboldt County land. He said talks broke down with the governor on the tribe's request to build a temporary, 350-slot machine casino in exchange for the state finding an alternative, off-reservation site later.

"He nixed the idea," Moorehead said. "... He didn't think he could get land into trust for off-reservation gaming accomplished in his lifetime. So we're going back to court."... (Original Post)

Dykema Lobbyists set up expense account for Oakland County Exec Brooks Patterson

Oakland County (MI) Executive L. Brooks Patterson stood for re-election in 2004. (Wikipedia: L. Brooks Patterson)

A 527 Committee (a PAC) formed in 2004 by attorneys/lobbyists at Dykema Gossett PLLC was used to fund travel and other expenses for Patterson under the radar. That PAC was known as “County Executive Administrative Account.”

Among other things the committee covered travel expenses of $8,157 so Patterson and Arab American business leaders could attend a Dykema marketing event in Washington, D.C.

In September 2004, Dykema Gossett PLLC launched a Mideast Practice Initiative.

Richard McLellan, then a Dykema Gossett partner, was to be leader of the firm’s new Mideast Practice Initiative. He was also head of Dykema’s Government Policy Practice Group. (Note: McLellan, one of former Michigan Governor John Engler’s closest pals, has ties to various Indian gaming proposals being bankrolled by Michael J. Malik, Sr. and Marian Ilitch. McClellan recruited Lance Boldrey, Engler’s former counsel for Indian matters, to Dykema Gossett in 2003. Together McLellan and Boldrey have advanced the Malik/Ilitch gambling agenda).

Since 2003, Oakland County’s D.C. lobbying needs have been handled exclusively by Dykema Gossett lobbyists working in that firm's Government Policy Practice Group.

In 2004 & 2005, Jennifer Shoha was a government relations professional with Dykema Gossett’s Government Policy Practice Group working in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills and Washington D.C. offices. The Dykema Web site notes she was responsible for the firm's relationships with the Arab American business community. Like Boldrey, Ms. Shoha joined McLellan at Dykema after working as the one-time Director of Governor Engler’s Southeast Michigan office.

During 2004 & 2005, Shoha was Chair of County Executive Administrative Account, the 527 Committee which was apparently a receptacle for corporate contributions used to cover various expenses for Patterson, Oakland County's Executive. It should be noted that during 2005, Shoha was also registered as a D.C. lobbyist for Oakland County.

Disclosures indicate that among other things, the 527 Committee funded $8,157 in travel expenses for Patterson to attend an inaugural event for Dykema’s Mideast Practice Initiative in June 2005; an event that clearly designed to benefit both McLellan and Shoha among others at Dykema.

The paperwork to set up the 527 Committee was handled by Dykema employee Wendy Seigel. At that time, she was an administrative assistant working under McLellan in Dykema's Government Policy Practice Group.
The Dykema team raised $34,050 for the 527 Committee from 2004-2005.

It's notable that more than 55% of the 527 Committee's money came from two related sources: Before, during and after this period; affiliates of Aronoff and Landon Companies had ongoing legal and real estate development matters pending in Oakland County which among other things involved the Novi Promenade.

What's more, the Aronoff affiliate Action Strategies, Inc. contributed nearly three times more to the 527 Committee for Patterson than any other donor. Others who contributed included Dick and Elizabeth DeVos, Detroit Edison Company and Quicken Loans.

Aronoff and Fried, both of whom reportedly split time between Michigan and Florida, are at the center of a major political scandal and U.S. Justice Department investigation examining their fundraising and lobbying practices as tied to Alaska's Rep. Don Young and a $10 million transportation earmark for a Florida interchange (Coconut Rd.).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Utsick showbiz fraud, ponzi scheme case stretches to Australia


Million dollar rift over rip-off claims

By Ben Butler

Two top concert promoters misappropriated millions of dollars from shows including Robbie Williams and Coldplay tours and the hit musical Dirty Dancing, it has been alleged.

Veteran rock promoter Michael Chugg has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle the stoush. And a separate claim against showbiz stalwart Kevin Jacobsen, worth up to $3 million, is ready to go to court in New South Wales next month.

The allegations against Mr Chugg and Mr Jacobsen follow the collapse of Worldwide Entertainment Group, run by Florida promoter Jack Utsick.

Worldwide, which funded shows put on in Australia by Mr Jacobsen and Mr Chugg, failed in 2006 amid allegations that the company had been a Ponzi scheme.

US authorities appointed receiver Michael Goldberg to collect the company's debts.

In a report filed with the Miami District Court in November 2007, Mr Goldberg alleged Worldwide had invested about $5 million in a partnership with Mr Chugg, "who proceeded to fraudulently divert much of the funds to his own use".

Mr Goldberg alleged Mr Chugg kept rebates from venues that should have been paid back to the partnership and had used Worldwide's money to invest in three un-named music festivals, two of which failed.

In a report filed in August, Mr Goldberg said Michael Chugg Entertainment had agreed to pay $1.5 million, made up of a downpayment of $500,000 and 15 monthly payments of $66,666.66.

Mr Chugg said yesterday a "disagreement about the proper interpretation of various agreements" had been amicably finalised.

Worldwide's separate claim against Mr Jacobsen has been before the NSW Supreme Court since 2005.

Settlement discussions are believed to be taking place, and a court is yet to rule on the allegations. The case is to return to court on February 13.

In an August 2005 judgment, Justice Clifford Einstein said Mr Jacobsen and companies associated with the promoter might owe Worldwide as much as $3 million.

Worldwide is not related to Geelong-based World Wide Entertainment.


Ponzi schemes pay returns out of money received from new investors, rather than from real investments such as in shares or property.

To continue, a Ponzi scheme relies on ever-increasing numbers of new investors.

Eventually, not enough new investors can be found or the fraud is uncovered, and the scheme collapses.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

MotorCity Casino investors want equity injection


Investors Push Bank On MotorCity

Investors are pushing back on a Deutsche Bank-led amendment for Detroit, Mich.-based MotorCity Casino because they want an equity injection from the company's sponsor, CCM Merger, Inc., which is owned by Marian Ilitch.

Calls to a MotorCity spokeswoman and Scott Fischer, CFO of Ilitch Holdings, the parent company of CCM, were not returned.

The opposition comes despite a price increase and the addition of a LIBOR floor. The amendment launched last Tuesday. MotorCity is looking to loosen its leverage covenant to 8 times. At the end of the third quarter, the company reported leverage of 6 times EBITDA. ...

Defendant withdraws motion to dismiss $2.1 million fraudulent transfer case

In Goldberg v. Malik, the $2.1 million fraudulent transfer case brought against Michael J. Malik, Sr., by a Florida court appointed Receiver Michael I. Goldberg, the Defendant Malik filed a Notice on 1.16.09 withdrawing his previous 1.02.09 Motion to Dismiss the case.

Malik had sought to have the case dismissed on administrative and procedural grounds. Among other things, Malik's attorneys argued the court had no jurisdiction over Malik, that Malik did not have any business relationship with any of the Receivership Entities, and that Malik, a resident of Michigan did not have any Florida business interests nor did he own any property in Florida.

According to Malik's attorneys, the Complaint against their client:
alleges that Defendant, Michael J. Malik, Sr. ("Mr. Malik"), invested in the business affairs of the Receivership Entities and ultimately received back more than he invested. The Receiver alleges that any "profits" that Mr. Malik earned are unlawful because, over time, the Receivership Entities became nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.
Goldberg v. Malik is one of dozens of cases related to a larger $300 million fraud case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against one-time entertainment mogul Jack Utsick (John P. Utsick), his business partners and their affiliates. The SEC alleges Utsick was running a ponzi scheme used to produce Broadway shows, concerts and other entertainment events and festivals. Receiver Goldberg has also sued Paris Hilton as part of his recovery efforts.

With a value of $2.1 million, Goldberg's fraudulent transfer case against Malik is likely the most substantial recovery attempt he's made to date. Goldberg alleges Malik received so-called "profit payments" in addition to a return of his original investments and that the "profit payments" were funded via the ponzi scheme.

In an earlier court document Malik says he never received so-called "profit payments."

U.S. District Court Judge Paul C. Huck has set the trial for Malik's case to begin the week of 4.20.09 in Miami Federal Court. He has previously ordered parties to exchange documents in order to faciliate discovery and keep the case moving forward.

April trial set in $2.1 million fraud case against Detroit casino syndicator

In Goldberg v. Malik, the $2.1 million fraudulent transfer case brought by Receiver Michael I. Goldberg against Detroit-based Michael J. Malik, Sr., U.S. District Court Judge Paul C. Huck has calendared a two-week trial to begin the week of 4.20.09 in Miami.

An Order setting civil jury and non-jury trial date and pretrial schedule, requiring mediation and referring certain motions to Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan was filed 1.05.09 by Judge Huck. The motion reads:
Trial is scheduled to commence during the two-week period commencing Monday, April 20, 2009 before the Honorable Paul C. Huck, United States District Judge, 400 North Miami Ave, 13th Floor, Room 13-2, Miami, Florida. Calendar call shall be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. at the same location.

The Malik case is related to a $300 million fraud case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against one-time entertainment mogul Jack Utsick, other business partners and their affiliates. The SEC alleges that Utisck was running a ponzi scheme to raise the capital he used to produce Broadway shows, concerts and other entertainment festivals and events.

It appears Utsick has taken asylum in Brazil and is battling court orders requiring his return to Miami.

Receiver Goldberg seeks to retrieve $2.1 million from Michael Malik which the Receiver alleges Malik received in the form of so-called "profit payments" funded through Utsick's ponzi scheme. (See: Original Malik Complaint)

As of 1.15.09, the Receiver has entered settlement agreements with 144 persons totaling $5.3 million. The Malik case isn't typical of these other cases as it seems to represent by far the largest sum sought by the Receiver from any individual.

Malik's Partners - Detroit's Ilitch Family

Since the mid-1990s, Malik has partnered with Detroit's Ilitch family (Mike Ilitch, Marian Ilitch and their seven adult children) on various casino development and real estate projects. His business offices are located at the headquarters of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

The Ilitch family founded Little Caesars Pizza and owns, among other affiliates, the Detroit Tigers (MLB), Detroit Red Wings (NHL), Detroit's Fox Theater, Uptown Entertainment, Blue Line Distributing and MotorCity Casino.

The family owned Olympia Entertainment, a subsidiary of Ilitch Holdings, produces theatrical productions and music events and operates various theaters, concert halls, arenas and stadiums throughout Detroit including: the historic Fox Theatre, Cobo Arena, Joe Louis Arena, Comerica Park, Detroit's Masonic Temple Theatre, and the City Theatre. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) recently granted a waiver to the Ilitch organization allowing Olympia Entertainment to manage theatrical and musical events at various venues within MotorCity Casino. (YouTube: Olympia Entertainment Video)

Royal Oak Music Theatre

For a period in the earlier part of this decade, Utsick affiliates had taken over management of the Royal Oak Music Theatre (ROMT) located in the Greater Detroit area. A former Olympia Entertainment executive producer, Greg Young, had joined Utsick's organization and was involved in the acquisition. Young is reportedly the owner/operator of ROMT and has a new partner, AEG Live (a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group). ROMT owed more than $400,000 to Utsick which Receiver Goldberg has sought to recover. Court documents and other reports suggest that Young brought in AEG as partner, in part, to help him pay off the debt owed to the Utsick affiliates.

Dana Warg, was hired as president of Olympia Entertainment in 2007. He was previously a vice president of AEG.

Oddly, documents of UCC Liens against Royal Oak Music Theatre and various affiliated organizations indicate the address for four of five affiliated debtor entities at 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201. That's the headquarters of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

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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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