Thursday, October 21, 2010

Detroit's Ilitch Family Could Spend $1 Billion+ on Shinnecock Casinos

Ilitch teams with tribe on N.Y. casinos: Long Island plans could top $1 billion

by Bill Shea

The Ilitches' high-profile pursuit of the Detroit Pistons and plan to build a downtown arena could be dwarfed financially by the family's quiet effort that could top $1 billion to construct casinos for an American Indian tribe on New York's Long Island.

Marian Ilitch, sole owner of MotorCity Casino and matriarch of the family whose fortune is built from the Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. pizza chain she co-founded in 1959, has a casino development deal with the Southampton, N.Y.-based Shinnecock Indian Nation, which recently said it may build up to three casinos now that it has official federal recognition.
Even if the tribe builds just one hotel-casino, because it will serve New York it's expected to be significantly larger than MotorCity, for which Ilitch financed the purchase and expansion for $600 million. A trio of casinos could each still be as large as or even larger than the Detroit property.
MotorCity reported $446 million in 2009 revenue and had 2010 revenue of $333.5 million through September.
"The location will dictate the size of the casino, but it certainly will be larger than the operation at MotorCity," said Tom Shields, owner and president of Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group Inc. and spokesman for Ilitch and her partner in the casino effort, Birmingham developer Mike Malik.
The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs this month rejected final objections to its acknowledgment of the Shinnecock
as a federally recognized American Indian tribe -- one seeking to build a casino, with Ilitch financial backing, to improve the lives of its roughly 1,200 members. They live on about 800 acres, mainly in mobile homes.
Such formal recognition, which the Shinnecock tribe first sought in 1978, is needed to open an Indian-run casino under federal law. It also makes the tribe eligible for federal housing, health and education funding.
Ilitch and Malik have been working with the tribe since 2003 on plans to build and operate a casino in Long Island's upscale Suffolk County -- an area better known as the Hamptons.
Casinos could be built elsewhere on the island to serve a wider population.
Ilitch and Malik are partners in Gateway Casino Resorts LLC and Gateway Funding Associates LLC, the businesses working with the tribe. They are headquartered in Detroit's Fox Theatre, whose offices are home to Ilitch Holdings Inc. and other Ilitch-owned ventures.
Additional state and federal legal, environmental and regulatory approvals are needed before a casino project can start -- something industry insiders have said is a long process with no guarantees and in which longer-recognized New York tribes have been mired for years.
The tribe prefers to negotiate with authorities to build a more lucrative Class III casino, which allows table games in addition to video slot machines under federal law. A Class III casino must share revenue with the state.
Ilitch and Malik will give the tribe financing and guidance on development and operations, Shields said. How much they'll be paid, and how much of a cut of the casino revenue they'll get, isn't yet known.
There is no timeline for the development, Shields added, noting that it's expected to take several years to get approvals and finish construction.
Beverly Jensen, communications officer for the tribe, declined to comment.
Casino spending
Malik and Ilitch have worked on casino efforts in Port Huron and Manistee and in Hawaii and California, but none have reached the stage of the New York project.
Expenditures on the Long Island effort have been significant.
Through Gateway, Ilitch and Malik paid Arlington, Va.-based lobbying firm Wheat Government Relationsmore than $1 million since 2003 to push for federal recognition for the Shinnecock, records show.
The casino project still needs the approval of New York's governor and Legislature.
Gateway hired Washington D.C.-based Mercury Public Affairs to lobby state government on behalf of the casino. The firm reportedly has met with New York Gov. David Paterson and state legislative leaders to discuss the gambling plan.
A comprehensive anonymous website,, for several years has tracked news and public records linked to Ilitch and Malik's casino ventures, and it shows that they have donated money to political candidates in positions to influence the tribal recognition or other casino-related issues.
The tribe's federal recognition suggests it was money well spent and eventually might result in new cash flow for the Ilitch empire.
In the meantime, the Ilitches will be conscious of the dangers of over-leveraging themselves, sports insiders say.
"All sports properties are acutely aware of not burdening themselves with debt," said Maury Brown, president of Portland, Ore.-based Business of Sports Network, which includes websites devoted to the business side of pro sports.
Bill Shea: (313) 446-1626,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Detroit's Ilitch Family To Develop Casinos with New York's Shinnecock Indian Nation

Shinnecock Indian Nation to Build Casinos
THE SOUTHAMPTON, L.I.-BASED SHINNECOCK INDIAN NATION HAS TEAMED UP with the wealthy Ilitch family—which built its fortune through the Little Caesars pizza chain and which owns MotorCity Casino—to fund its casino ambitions, according to Crain's Detroit Business. The Shinnecocks, who were recently recognized by the federal government as an American Indian tribe, said they may build up to three casinos on Long Island to improve the lives of their 1,200 members, who live in mobile homes on about 800 acres adjacent to the upscale Hamptons. The tribe has been looking for potential sites since 2003, and it's in talks with private developers and community leaders.
Blogger's Note: Somehow the poor impoverished Shinnecock people came up with $1,250,000 it paid to D.C. lobbyists to win federal recognition and advance Gateway Casino Resorts' schemes for Long Island. Gateway paid an additional $1,085,000 to D.C. lobbyists for a total of $1,905,000 reportedly paid to  D.C. lobbyists.  Malik & the Ilitch family also contributed more than $1,200,000 to Members of Congress and their various affiliated campaign committees and PACs.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NY Senators Return Michael Malik's Campaign Contributions

7th S.D.: Sens. Johnson, Klein to return Malik contributions
By Reid Epstein

Yesterday we wrote about Detroit developer Michael Malik's donations to Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton). Turns out Malik -- who is partnering with the Shinnecock tribe to develop a Long Island casino, paid a fine for not reporting California political donations and paid to settle a federal case involving an insolvent company in which he'd invested -- also gave $3,500 to state Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) and $2,500 to state Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx).

Johnson spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the campaign this morning wrote a check to Malik returning the money. "We sent it back earlier today," he said. "After we saw your post, we checked our records and we cut a check this morning."

Klein spokesman Austin Shafran said the fourth-ranking Senate Democrat will also be returning his contribution.

Note: Click CA-FPPC for details about Michael J. Malik's campaign finance violations in California.

Also See
-Congressman Bishop Under Fire For Accepting Michael Malik's Contribution
-Questions Surrounding $15K Gov. Cuomo Accepted From Detroit Casino Syndicator

Congressman Bishop Under Fire For Accepting Michael Malik's Contribution

Breaking News: Bishop Donor Mixed Up With Casinos, Illegal Contributions
By Reid Epstein

Tim Bishop campaign donor Michael Malik, a Detroit developer, is a partner with the Shinnecock indian tribe seeking to develop a Long Island casino and in 2009 Malik was found guilty and fined $4,000 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to disclose 17 campaign contributions during the 2006 cycle.

In 2008, Malik was charged in a Florida federal court with being involved in a $2.1 million fraudulent transfer stemming from a Securities and Exchange Commission Ponzi scheme case against an entertainment promoter named John P. Utsick. Malik settled the case with a $170,000 payment on the $620,000 he received from the scheme.

Malik, federal campaign finance records show, gave a max contribution of $2,400 to Bishop for Congress in 2009.

We asked Bishop campaign spokesman Audrey Kubetin about Malik earlier this afternoon and are waiting to hear back from her. Bishop and Republican opponent Randy Altschuler are to debate tomorrow morning at News 12…

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Casino Syndicator Michael J. Malik Buys $5.4 Million NYC Penthouse

In Deed! Gambling Mogul on the Waterfront
The New York Observer

80 Riverside Blvd, PH4A 

New York, NY 10069

--Casino mogul Michael J. Malik, who has been a leading proponent of the legalization of gambling and of building gambling halls, has bought a $5,362,187.64 apartment at The Rushmore at 80 Riverside Boulevard. The penthouse apartment did not appear to currently be on the market but was once listed for $7.3 million. The Michigan-based entrepreneur has also tried to develop a casino in the Hamptons, it has not yet been successful.
Penthouse 4A: 3,056 ft²; 10.5 rooms - 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths; doorman, garage, pool, club, Sundeck; btwn W. 63rd & W. 64th Sts.  Further details at

Two Bills Allowing Gambling in Hawaii Fail; Detroiters Actively Lobbied for Passage

May 2010

In February, two bills [HB 2251 & HB 2759] strongly supported by gambling interests came up for public hearing at the Legislature. After lively testimony and discussion, both bills were deferred.

Along with the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling and other community and native Hawaiian groups, LWV’s Jean Aoki testified against the measures. John Radcliffe, an industry spokesperson from Michigan, spoke in favor of the bills, saying the casinos would generate jobs and increased revenue for the state.

One bill would have permitted a single casino in a county with more than 500,000 residents. The second would have allowed casinos on Hawaiian Homelands. As it turned out, both bills were dead. Nor did other gambling bills come forward.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Certificate of Forfeiture Issued Over Michael Malik's Lake Front Property; Casino Syndicator Owes Thousands in Back Property Taxes

On April 1, 2010 the Treasurer of Wayne County, Michigan, issued a Certificate of Forfeiture of Real Property on a residence at 960 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. This is a mid-century lake front home in one of Detroit’s most fabled neighborhoods owned by casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr.

Typically a Certificate of Forfeiture is issued when a property owner fails to pay his or her property taxes; and, in lieu of payment, the governing authority elects to seize the real property.

(1) 960 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan
In 2001, Michael J. Malik, Sr. (G P Development LLC) purchased the residential property at 960 Lake Shore Rd. from the Louis A. Fisher, Jr. Trust with a $4,250,000 mortgage held by Comerica Bank.  It had been the primary residence of Louis A. Fisher and his wife Virginia Nesbitt Fisher until their deaths respectively in 2000 and 1978. Louis was the son of William A. Fisher who along with his six brothers founded Fisher Body Corporation in 1908.  Fisher Body would later become a division of General Motors Company.

The property located at 960 Lake Shore Rd. and fronting Lake St. Clair is located in one of greater Detroit’s most exclusive neighborhoods.  Living two doors south from the Malik property are Mr. and Mrs. Matty Moroun (956 Lake Shore Rd.) owners of Detroit International Bridge Co. (Ambassador Bridge).  Approximately six doors north is the vast estate of William Clay Ford, Jr. (1000 Lake Shore Rd.) once the home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. 

It’s not clear who, if anyone, currently inhabits the residence at 960 Lake Shore Rd.; however, between 2000 and 2008, Malik and his wife/ex- wife Michele M. Malik, owned three residential properties on Lake Shore Grosse Pointe Shores:   
  • 583 Lake Shore Rd., a 6,052 square foot home with seven bathrooms, built in 1961 and purchased in May 2003 for $2,000,000. Township records indicate the property was seized by the Sheriff who granted the deed to La Salle Bank Midwest N.A. in November 2008.  Township Property Records
  • 591 Lake Shore Rd., an 8,439 square foot home with five bathrooms, built in 1961 and purchased February 2000 for $2,100,000. Township records indicate this property is still owned by Michael Malik and his ex-wife Michelle.  The tax bill is sent to Malik’s office at 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.  Township Property Records
  • 960 Lake Shore Rd., a 5,511 square foot home with five bathrooms built in 1955 and purchased in 2001 for $4,250,000 – the property for which the Certificate of Forfeiture was issued.  Township Property Records

Monday, March 01, 2010

Detroit Casino Interests Behind Shinnecock Bid for Casino at Belmont Park & Race Track

Shinnecock Indians, Gateway Casino Resorts team up in bid for Long Island casino
NY Daily News

By William Sherman

The Shinnecock Indians and their super-rich partners have spent more than $1 million to lobby state and federal lawmakers to let them build a "world-class" casino on Long Island - possibly at Belmont Park racetrack.

The impoverished Southampton, L.I., tribe doesn't have the money for the project, but their backers and development partners, Gateway, has plenty to invest.

Gateway's principals are Marion Illitch who, with her husband, owns the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings, and Little Caesar's national pizza chain, and wealthy gambling czar Mike Malik.

Gateway's only stated business purpose is the Shinnecock casino enterprise, and Malik has made significant contributions to politicians who could turn the plan into reality.

The casino needs the approval of the governor, the Legislature and Congress.

The partners have hired Mercury Public Affairs, whose star lobbyist is Rodney Capel, a former top official in the state Democratic Party. Capel has also worked for Sen. Chuck SchumerRep. Charles Rangel, and Assemblyman Herman (Denny) Farrell.

Discussions on the project, some as recent as two weeks ago, have been held with Gov. Paterson, major state leaders, Rangel, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Schumer's chief of staff, Martin Brennan, said Capel, whose firm has been paid more than $200,000.

"We're hoping to get quick resolution on a site location that's good for the state, good for the specific locality and the people there, and good for the tribe," Capel said.

Tribal leader Fred Bess said, "We're looking to build a world-class facility" which would include a full complement of table games like blackjack and poker, plus slot machines, a big hotel and Vegas-style entertainment.

A casino would be a billion-dollar jackpot for the 1,066-member tribe whose desolate reservation is near Southampton's luxurious mansions.

The Shinnecock enterprise is the latest entry in the quest for the big pot of gold - the billions New Yorkers would gamble at locations more convenient than Atlantic City orFoxwoods in Connecticut.
Two weeks ago, tribal leaders and Capel met with Paterson, state Senate presidentMalcolm Smith, and Sen. John Sampson in Albany, Capel said.

"We don't think getting the approvals will be that hard," said Capel.

On the federal level, Gateway has paid Wheat Government Relations, a highly influential lobbying firm, more than $1 million in the last six years.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Some Experts Believe New York Casino Market is Saturated; Shinnecock Casino at Belmont Would only Create Problems


By Charles V. Bagli

Gov. David A. Paterson announced Friday that he had selected a casino operator for the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens. It would be the ninth racetrack casino to open in the state since 2001.

The Shinnecock tribe on Long Island, meanwhile, expects to get federal recognition later this year, and it wants to promptly build a casino, possibly at the Belmont Park racetrack just a few miles from Aqueduct.

And there is yet another push by Senator Charles E. Schumer, Governor Paterson and elected officials in the Catskills to allow Indian tribes to build two Las Vegas-style casinos in Monticello, 90 miles northwest of Manhattan.

But for all those wishing to further exploit gambling revenues — from the state’s chief executive to casino operators themselves — there are sobering realities: falling revenues at any number of the New York area’s gambling sites, the effects of a deep recession and the threat of what amounts to market saturation.

At the Monticello racetrack casino in the Catskills, for instance, gambling revenues (after prizes) fell by more than 9 percent in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year. And gambling revenues at the Seneca tribe’s three full-scale casinos in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area dropped 7.2 percent last year, prompting the tribe to shut down the expansion projects at its once booming resorts.

In Connecticut, where two massive Indian casinos have long attracted New Yorkers, as well as in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, there have also been substantial declines in profits and revenues.

“It’s probably wise to err on the conservative side when projecting revenues from gambling,” said Robert B. Ward, deputy director of the Rockefeller Institute and co-author of a national study on the drop in gambling revenues.

New York’s embrace of gambling, to be sure, has had its upsides in recent years, and the combined revenue from the state’s eight racetrack casinos is still on the rise. But the outfits that run those casinos won the right to take a larger percentage of total revenues and have been sending less money to the state’s dedicated education fund — down by nearly 10 percent in 2009.

Morgan Hook, a spokesman for Mr. Paterson, said, “Moving forward with a gaming facility at the Aqueduct racetrack will not only bring real jobs to the metropolitan New York City region, but will spark economic development in surrounding neighborhoods, send sorely needed dollars to public schools and stimulate the important agriculture and racing industries upstate.”

A new casino at Aqueduct, with 4,500 electronic slot machines but no table games, would sit in a densely populated part of Queens, something the developers competing to operate it find attractive.

Analysts say that Aqueduct could generate more than $1 million a day in revenues for the state.
On Friday, Governor Paterson said he had selected the Aqueduct Entertainment Group from five bidders to run the casino. The move played well with State Senate leaders and with Queens leaders, including the Rev. Floyd Flake, who is a member of the A.E.G. consortium.

But the long awaited decision could still run into trouble from rival bidders, including Penn National, which said it was “shocked and dismayed” by the governor’s decision because it had submitted the highest offer for an upfront payment, $300 million.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he had agreed to the governor’s choice providing that A.E.G. met a series of conditions, which includes raising its upfront bid to $300 million.

Jeffrey E. Levine, a Queens developer who is part of the A.E.G. consortium, said the group had agreed to all the conditions. State officials said they expected to complete an agreement in 30 days with A.E.G., which plans to open the casino within six months.

“I’m thrilled to bring these jobs and this financial windfall to our borough, our city and our state in these desperate times,” Mr. Levine said.

“We are ready to hit the ground running.”

But some analysts say an Aqueduct casino may wind up stealing customers from the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, the state’s best performing slots hall.

The Aqueduct casino, in turn, would come under siege if the Shinnecock tribe builds a casino at nearby Belmont, or on its reservation in Southampton...  Read Complete Story

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

Play with the interactive tool here or visit

TIP: Search for multiple entries in the database simultaneously by separating their names with the word and

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

The Verifiable Truth