Friday, September 23, 2011

Bay Mills Indian Community Presenting Casino Plans to Flint Township Board Oct.3



FLINT TWP. — Perhaps the Bay Mills Indian Community will build a casino on their 28-acre property at Dutcher and Lennon Roads after all.

Bay Mills representatives are scheduled to make a presentation to the township Board of Trustees at its Oct. 3 meeting about what it proposes to do with the undeveloped land, said Karyn Miller, township supervisor at this week’s board meeting.

After the meeting, Miller said she did not have any further information about the content of Bay Mills’ presentation. She said as far as she knows Bay Mills has not resolved legal issues that have thwarted development of its property in the township and elsewhere.

A casino Bay Mills owns in Vanderbilt was ordered closed in March by a federal judge pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians and the State of Michigan challenging the legality of the land purchase which bypassed normal channels.

Bay Mills has a tribal compact with the State of Michigan allowing it to operate Class III gaming facilities on Indian land. Its interpretation of that agreement is any property purchased with Indian funding becomes Indian land. Therefore the Vanderbilt casino was established legally according to laws governing Indian-owned property.

The state disagrees and its assertions so far have been upheld in court.

Bay Mills opened the Vanderbilt casino in November fueling speculation about similar plans for properties its owns in Port Huron and Flint Township. Development for the latter were assumed to be tied to the outcome of the Vanderbilt legal challenge.

But the tribe lost a second federal court appeal at the end of June seeking to overturn the judge’s decision and reopen the Vanderbilt casino, according to a June 30 report by the Port Huron Times Herald.

Bays Mils reportedly filed suit against the state of Michigan on July 15 in the Western District Court of Michigan, naming Gov. Rick Snyder as the defendant, according to a report in the Bay Mills News, a monthly publication owned and operated Bay Mills Indian Community.

The News reported that “Snyder is being sued in his official capacity as chief executive officer of the state for trying to apply Michigan law to Bay Mills Indian Community’s Vanderbilt Casino.”

Bay Mills lawsuit intends to show that Snyder, as well as the State of Michigan, has no jurisdiction over federally recognized Indian tribes on Indian lands, according to the report.

In an April interview with The Times Herald, Jeffrey Parker, chairman of the Bay Mills executive board, reportedly said he expected to open a casino in Port Huron in 2012, despite ongoing legal setbacks. He told the Port Huron reporter that local support is required to open a casino.

Parker did not respond to requests for comment.

Dutcher Rd @ Lennon Rd., Flint Township, MI

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Blogger's Note:  For nearly two decades Detroit casino syndicator Michael Malik (Blue Water Resorts), with support from his business partner Marian Ilitch, has been pushing development of a  Bay Mills Indian Community casino in Port Huron, MI.  The tribe's reservation is in Brimley, MI. They've spent millions lobbying elected officials and agencies at the local, state and federal level.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Forbes says Ilitch worth $2 Billion; Ranking #212 among Richest Americans, #5 Richest in Michigan

Forbes 400 | #212 M/M Ilitch

Forbes' 2011 List of 400 Richest Americans is out. The net worth of Detroit's Michael and Marian Ilitch is valued at $2 billion.  That's up from $1.7 billion in September 2010.  They are ranked #212 on the 2011 List of Richest Americans -- climbing 26 spots from 2010 (#238).

According to Forbes:
A stagnant economy continues to benefit Michael and Marian Ilitch's Little Caesar's chain, which sells $5 pizzas to penny-pinching consumers. Revenues are picking up at Marian's MotorCity Casino after a flat 2010. The Ilitch clan passed on the chance to buy the Detroit Pistons, but Mike's Detroit Tigers are in first place in the AL Central. Next up: a new downtown hockey arena for the Red Wings.

Forbes ranks Mr. & Mrs. Ilitch as the 5th richest in Michigan behind Richard DeVos, Frederik G.H. Meijer, Al Taubman and Ronda Stryker.

See also:

Shinnecock and Ilitch affiliate Gateway Casino Resorts paid $1.5 million to New York Lobbyists

Backers of various proposals to build Native American casinos on Long Island, NY, including a casino complex adjacent to Belmont Park Race Track, have paid New York state lobbyists more than $1.5 million since 2005.  The Shinnecock Indian Nation bankrolled by its partners, the people behind a Detroit-based syndication known as Gateway Casino Resorts, have funneled a total of $1,502,280 to these four lobbying firms:

Lobbying Firm
Total Fees Paid
(fka IGR Group, fka FHGR, fka Mercury Public Affairs, LLC)
Brian R. Meara + Meara Avela Dickinson
Meyer Suozzi English & Klein, PC
Park Strategies, LLC

More than 80% of the lobbying fees paid by the Shinnecock Indian Nation/Gateway Casino Resorts have gone to Mercury Public Affairs which has also been known as IGR Group and FHGR (Fleishman Hillard Government Relations). Mercury lobbyists representing the casino interests have included Peter BardenThomas DohertyKieran Mahoney, Michael McKeon and Mark Streb. Doherty, Mahoney and McKeon had ties to former Governor George Pataki.  McKeon was executive director of Republicans for Cuomo helping New York Governor Andrew Cuomo win his 2010 election.

The latest edition to the Shinnecock/Gateway stable of lobbying firms is Park Strategies, LLC.  That firm was founded by former U.S. Senator (NY) Alfonse D'Amoto.  Among the lobbyists registered to support the expansion of casinos on Long Island is Anthony Cancellieri, former Chief Deputy County Executive of Nassau County.  Belmont Park Race Track, one of the preferred locations for a Shinnecock/Gateway casino development, is located in Nassau County, NY.

During 2011, The Shinnecock Indians and Gateway Casino Resorts had monthly retainer agreements with four New York lobbying firms as follows:

2011 Monthly Retainers
Lobbying Firm
Retainer Amount
Meara Avela Dickinson
Meyer Suozzi English & Klein, PC
Park  Strategies, LLC

Source: records available at

See also:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ilitch affiliate retains former U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato's lobbying firm to push New York Casino plans for Shinnecock

Gateway Casino Resorts retains
Park Strategies lobbyists
Detroiter Michael Malik and his Gateway Casino Resorts syndicate have entered into an agreement with former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato to retain his Park Strategies, LLC, lobbying firm in support of plans to build casinos on Long Island in partnership with the Shinnecock Indian Nation. D’Amato’s firm will be paid a monthly retainer of $15,000 ($180,000 annually) plus other expenses.

Gateway has been pursuing approvals for casino development with the Shinnecock tribe for nearly a decade.  This is the first time Gateway has filed New York lobbying disclosures or reported it hired lobbyists.  Gateway currently has designs on a casino site at Belmont Park near the Triple Crown Belmont race track.  That location would be in Nassau County.  The Shinnecock have a reservation in the Hamptons area of Suffolk County. Note that one of D’Amato’s Park Strategies colleagues is Anthony Cancellieri, the former Chief Deputy County Executive of Nassau County.

Since 2005, the Shinnecock Nation Gaming Authority, with financial support from Gateway (Malik, his partner Marian Ilitch and any other investors), has paid other New York state lobbyists more than $1.5 million in pursuit of casino approvals.  On average they've been paying New York lobbying firms $20,000 per month.  That suggests going forward they will be paying $35,000 - $40,000 per month doubling what they have been paying to state lobbyists.

Additionally, Gateway and the Shinnecock have paid Washington, D.C. lobbyists $2.33 million to win federal approvals needed to move forward with casino development.

In recent campaign cycles, Malik and members of Detroit’s Ilitch Family have bundled and dumped more than $117,000 into campaign war chests  benefiting a select handful (5) of New York’s top ranking politicians including Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York’s U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressmen Charlie Rangel and Tim Bishop, the latter’s Long Island district includes the Shinnecock Reservation.

NOTE: Al D'Amato is the Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance (  A professional group of lobbyist and public affairs pros who advocate for the expansion of online gambling.  Poker Players Alliance has reported spending $15 million on D.C. lobbying to push online gambling.

See also:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ilitch partner, Michael Malik secures additional Harsens Island properties

8117 South Channel Dr., Harsens Island MI | Slideshow
Detroit wheeler dealer Michael Malik, has secured additional Harsens Island (MI) properties.  During the summer, he obtained the three parcels noted below from the Glenn R.  Barnes Trust; deed conveyed to Malik and recorded by the St. Clair County Register of Deeds on 8.23.2011. See Property Deed. 

Mr. Barnes had passed away in September 2010 and had lived in the 6,300 square foot home at 8117 South Channel Dr. estimates that home sits on 4.23 acres and reports it was listed for sale at $1,450,000.  A document filed with the County Register of Deeds suggests Malik has a $417,000 on these additional Harsens Island parcels.

At the time of the transactions, Malik was still living at 350 Aspen Road, Birmingham (MI), the home he bought and lived-in with Brooke Malik during their six-week 2010 marriage.

Parcel Number

For more than two decades, Malik has attempted to get approvals for various failed Harsens Island development schemes -- most involving development of a marina.  His most recent plans were advanced by affiliates known as Lucky 7 Development and Grande Pointe Development and included  a 450-acre housing development centered around a large man-made island and lagoon with access to the north channel of the St. Clair River.  In 2008, the Clay Township Planning Commission failed to approve permits Malik needed to move his plans forward.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) also failed to grant Malik the needed permitsMalik appealed in Court but the decision of the Planning Commission was upheld.

In 2009, Lucky 7 Development was rather delinquent on property taxes for nine Harsens Island parcels it controls owing almost $10,000.

Malik, often caught up in controversies and wrong-doing, is principally known as the casino development partner of Detroit’s Ilitch Family. Mike and Marian Ilitch co-founded Little Caesars pizza chain and own the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit’s MotorCity Casino among other affiliates.  During the same time they’ve pursued failed marina development schemes for Harsens Island, Malik and the Ilitches have unsuccessfully pursued casino development schemes with Native American partners in/on Port Huron (MI), Barstow (CA) and Long Island (NY).  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Casino Related Partners & Affiliates of Michael Malik and the Ilitch Family have paid Michigan Lobbyists nearly $240,000

Lobbying disclosures available through the Michigan Secretary of State suggest that a relative few affiliates/partners of casino syndicator Michael Malik and/or the family of Mike and Marian Ilitch (Ilitch Holdings, Inc.) have reported state lobbying activities during the last decade.

Of those that have reported lobbying activities, Malik/Ilitch affiliates have paid  $239,509.57 to Lansing lobbyists or lobbying firms.  Entities associated with a decades long Malik lead scheme to develop a casino in Port Huron (MI) have paid lobbyists approximately $88,600.  Detroit Entertainment LLC which does business as Detroit's MotorCity Casino has paid lobbyists more than $150,000.

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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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