Detroit has high goals

Jul 1, 2002 3:21 AM

The Motor City once upon a time stood for cars, but Detroit’s gaming industry is the one speeding ahead.

According to The Detroit News, both Greektown and MotorCity have announced lavish expansion plans. MGM, the other major player in the city’s gaming market, is for the moment ­­undecided.

Greektown Casino is set to move two blocks away to a permanent facility closer to Interstate 375 where it will have space to build a 400-room hotel and expand the gambling area. The 40-story attraction would include 100,000 square feet of gaming space, nearly one-third larger than the temporary facility.

Construction would take about 30 months, with a completion date of December 2005. That would be two months before the scheduled 2006 Super Bowl.

MotorCity also plans to construct a 16-story hotel tower with rooms at the standard of the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. The two-story gaming complex will include a 1,700-2,000 square foot theater and six restaurants.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick fashioned the casino deal after long negotiations during the first months of his administration. The mayor’s deal called for 400-room hotels at each location and $102 million in payments to the city.

On track for slots

An Oakland County executive is pushing for legislation that would legalize electronic gambling at the seven Michigan horse tracks.

Wagering at Michigan tracks fell from $474 million in 1997 to $374 million last year, according to Dominic Perrone, a spokesman for the racing commissioner.

Brooks Patterson, representing Oakland County, said that allowing electronic gambling at the tracks would reduce the state’s projected $1 billion deficit and help save a "limping racetrack industry."

Horse racing accounts for nearly 42,000 state jobs. Gov. John Engler supports gaming, but is against legalizing slots at horse tracks.