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Allan

Tribes & Casinos settle lawsuit

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This is great news for Detroit! The lawsuits have all been settled, and that means the casino hotel towers in downtown Detroit can be built...FINALLY :). I haven't seen any renderings in a while, but as soon as I see some, I'll post them. It was originally supposed to be 41 stories, although the last I heard, the owners of Ford Field were complaining that it was too tall, and got it scaled back to 26 floors :rolleyes:. This is a major downtown, not the suburbs! But regardless, it's still great news for the city. I just hope it can be built tall like it was originally supposed to be.

Tribe, casinos settle lawsuit

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

BY DAVID RUNK

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians has agreed to settle a lawsuit against two Detroit casinos, paving the way for the construction of permanent casino-hotels in the city.

The tribe, which has 430 members and a casino in Watersmeet in the Upper Peninsula, filed suit in 1997, saying its constitutional rights were violated when the city gave license preferences to MotorCity and Greektown casino ownership groups.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced the settlement at a Tuesday evening news conference.

Greektown Casino and Detroit Entertainment, the owner of MotorCity Casino, will each pay $39.5 million to the tribe over the next 25 years, Kilpatrick announced. No payment will be made by the city of Detroit, he said.

In exchange for the payments, the tribe will drop all claims, the mayor said.

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YAY good news I know this will look great in Detorit's skyline when it's done

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Casino deal likely means permanent sites by '06

Rift with tribe ends; goal is new locations, rooms by Super Bowl

November 26, 2003

BY TINA LAM

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced a deal late Tuesday that should end the city's 6-year legal battle with a northern Michigan tribe and clear the way for at least two new permanent casinos by 2006.

The city will go to federal court today to ask that an injunction preventing MotorCity and Greektown casinos from breaking ground on their new homes be lifted. The court could approve that request in a matter of days, Kilpatrick said.

The casinos still need zoning changes before they can begin construction. And the Detroit City Council, which goes on break today until January, must approve any zoning changes.

The Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians had sued the city, claiming its casino ordinance was unconstitutional because it gave two casino groups preferences for licenses. The settlement does not include MGM Grand Detroit Casino. Kilpatrick said the Lac Vieux tribe will continue to pursue its case against MGM Grand Detroit.

Meanwhile, MGM Grand can't proceed with a new casino because it's under the federal injunction issued last September. Kilpatrick said the city will not ask the federal court to lift the injunction against MGM Grand, but the casino may request that.

Kilpatrick had tried to get MGM Grand to pay for part of the settlement.

Conly Schulte, attorney for the tribe, said the tribe plans to ask the federal court to order that the MGM Grand Detroit Casino's license be rebid.

MGM Grand officials said in a statement Tuesday that they do not believe the court case applies to them because they did not receive the preference in the law that the courts have said was unconstitutional.

The other two casinos will pay $39.5 million each to the tribe over 25 years. In addition, Ted Gatzaros and Jim Papas, former shareholders in the Greektown Casino, will pay another $15 million.

"This is a continuation of history, moving the city forward and putting aside old problems," Kilpatrick said in announcing the settlement.

Kilpatrick took a large measure of credit for the agreement, saying he called the parties together and negotiated with them in September in Las Vegas to break a logjam that had lasted a year.

However, Detroit businessman Don Barden, a partner of the Lac Vieux tribe in its efforts to get a Detroit casino, said much of the credit for the settlement goes to Papas and Gatzaros.

"Without them, this might never have been settled," Barden said. Barden said he met with Papas in March, and Papas and Gatzaros then offered to put in $15 million to help make the settlement happen. Papas and Gatzaros were former shareholders in the casino.

Barden said a confidentiality agreement with the tribe prevents him from saying how much money he gets from the settlement.

The Lac Vieux tribe, the state's tiniest at less than 500 members, filed a lawsuit in 1997 charging that the city's casino ordinance was unconstitutional. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the ordinance was defective because it granted preferences for casinos to MotorCity and Greektown.

U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell in Grand Rapids ruled against the tribe twice in the lawsuit, and the appeals court twice overturned Bell's rulings. Bell must approve the final settlement.

Bell had said in a ruling last year that he considered MGM Grand Detroit Casino to be as much a victim in the case as the Lac Vieux tribe.

The city's casino ordinance gave preference to the groups that founded the MotorCity and Greektown Casinos because they helped push through a measure statewide that allowed casinos in Detroit. When Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer announced the three casino winners, he said Greektown had needed the preference, but MotorCity had not. MGM Grand won the third license.

The tribe said it didn't seek a casino license because it felt it was already at a disadvantage by not having a preference. The appeals court agreed. Last September, after the tribe had filed yet another appeal of Bell's ruling, the appeals court said no shovels could go in the ground until the appeal was heard. No arguments have yet been scheduled, but the parties tried to settle the case in the meantime.

"This is a giant step forward for 2006," Kilpatrick said Tuesday. The two casinos will provide 800 hotel rooms for the 2006 Super Bowl and have new restaurants and entertainment for those who come to Detroit for the big event.

Greektown Casino plans to build a 26-story hotel tower with 400 rooms and a swimming pool, four to five restaurants, a theater and convention space at I-375 and Gratiot, near Ford Field.

MotorCity has similar plans for a 16-story casino hotel but will stay at its current location, adding on where it is at the Lodge and Grand River.

Contact TINA LAM at 734-432-6502 or [email protected]

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First a map to show where all this is taking place:

b01casinomap.jpg

And a rendering - the only one I can find at the moment:

home_front.jpg

A rendering shows a planned view of the MotorCity Casino. Both it and the Greektown Casino would need zoning changes, and Detroit City Council approval.

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Its good to see some new builidings for Detroit. I have mixed feelings about casino gambling because the Indian Casinos seem to syphon off more $ than they put back locally.

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That is good news for Detriot. Although I worry Detriot is going to go the way of Atlantic City with the Casino's. Rather than transforming the city, they are just a bunch of casino's dotted in the middle of the same old city. I'm not trying to be overly negative, just a little concerned that there may be a little too much faith placed in the ability of the casino's themselves to transform a city. But my concern my only be because I haven't heard of any plans to build on the attraction of the casinos by the city or private developers into more sustainable, and prehaps even, more meaningful development, life, and attraction.

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Unfortunately I haven't heard of any plans to build upon what the casinos are bringing to the city. The city is counting on the casinos to attract developers who will build larger projects in the city. This is being welcomed into the city....it is broke & needs a way to pay for the infrastructure (it's having a hard time maintaining the infrastructure built for 2.2 million people when there are only 921,000 in the city to fund it). I just hope that this will bring more people into the city, who will invest in the city and improve it.

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That is good news for Detriot. Although I worry Detriot is going to go the way of Atlantic City with the Casino's. Rather than transforming the city, they are just a bunch of casino's dotted in the middle of the same old city. I'm not trying to be overly negative, just a little concerned that there may be a little too much faith placed in the ability of the casino's themselves to transform a city. But my concern my only be because I haven't heard of any plans to build on the attraction of the casinos by the city or private developers into more sustainable, and prehaps even, more meaningful development, life, and attraction.

No that wont happen because there were bids for only 3 casinos and those are it. The casinos are bringing in much needed revenue to the city, so the city IS making a profit. The casinos will bring 1,200 hotel rooms, revenue, and people, so it is a good thing. :)

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No that wont happen because there were bids for only 3 casinos and those are it. The casinos are bringing in much needed revenue to the city, so the city IS making a profit. The casinos will bring 1,200 hotel rooms, revenue, and people, so it is a good thing. :)

Oh don't get me wrong, I know the revenue and the jobs (and development in general) is a positive thing for Detriot.

I was heading more the direction of what else will detriot do to build on the success (people and jobs) the casino's will bring. Will they be able to help start a transformation within Detriot with non-Casino attractions, jobs, residents, and life -- or like Atlantic City be pretty much the same ol' city with some casinos in town.

I completely agree that the Casinos, and what they bring - regardless, is still going to be good news for Detriot. Just what else can Detriot do with the people, and money, to get to the much bigger and better goal of attracting and retaining young people, businesses, life to DT outside of the Casino's etc.

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I heard a rumor that the Greektown casino hotel will be 31 floors. I wish they'd build it as originally proposed: 41 stories tall. Heck, I wish they'd build it even taller! But Detroit will have to take what it can get.

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31 one is the latest rendering from the firm........

furthermore, the money the city gets from the casinos has gone a long way in solving detroit's budget problems. I'm not sure the exact amount, but i know a few years ago when the city had a budget shortage, the new revenue from the casinos covered it.

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I heard that the revenue from the casinos covered the budget gap too, but like you say, that was a while ago. I haven't seen any numbers recently....

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well i'm assuming that the casino revenues have been covering the budget gap consistently over the years, since i haven't really heard of detroit adjusting taxes or cutting any programs......

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I haven't heard anything either. But I haven't heard anything about Detroit's budget situation in a while. Since I haven't heard anything, I'm assuming that the casinos are covering the budget gaps.

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