Friday, September 09, 2011

D.C. Lobbyists Paid $2.33 Million to Advance Shinnecock Casinos

D.C. Lobbyists were paid more than $2.33 million in the quest for federal recognition of New York’s Shinnecock Indian Nation.

Somehow the poor impoverished Shinnecock Indian Nation paid $1.25 million to lobbying firms in its quest for Recognition that would lay the groundwork to develop casinos on Long Island.  Amended lobbying disclosures report that Gateway Casino Resorts pays the lobbying bills and controls the lobbying contracts for the Shinnecock Indian Nation.

Additionally, Gateway Casino Resorts, the Detroit-based investment group behind the tribe’s casino plans, paid more than $1.08 million to D.C. lobbyists during the same period of time.

Washington D.C. Lobbying Payments

(Registered Lobbying Client)
Lobbying Payments
(through 2011)




Originally organized as Empire Ventures, L.L.C. in 2003, and then changed to Empire Associates, L.L.C., when amended Articles of Organizations were filed in 2004; the investors group fronted by Detroiters Michael Malik and Marian Ilitch, began reporting its name as Gateway Casino Resorts, L.L.C., with its 2005 annual corporate filing.  The first lobbying reports were filed in Washington, D.C. that same year.

Ilitch owns among other things, Detroit’s MotorCity Casino.  Malik had been one of the “founders” of MotorCity Casino but failed to win a Michigan gambling license in 1999 and was forced  to drop out of the Atwater Associates syndication (MotorCity's investment group) before the casino could open its doors. 

Another Atwater partner was Herb Strather.  Like Malik, controversy seems to follow Strather.  After both being cut-out of MotorCity Casino before the gambling hall could open its doors, each pursued similar casino development schemes elsewhere. 

Malik has pursued casino development plans for Long Island and Strather pursued similar plans for Cape Cod.  They used financing and influence models similar to those that had worked for them earlier in Detroit. In fact, three quarters of those parties investing in Strather's Cape Cod syndicate had also been investors in one of the earlier entities that morphed into MotorCity Casino.

Strather’s schemes, unlike Malik’s, were scandalously exposed in 2007.  Strather had been fronting for silent partners Len Wolman, Sol Kerzner, international casino moguls. The chairman of the Mashpee Tribe, partners with Strather’s investors group, was arrested for fraud and various schemes they had concocted to fund lobbying and political campaign contributions -- schemes that had earlier/elsewhere gone unnoticed or undetected.

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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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