Let the bidding begin

Jul 16, 2002 4:20 AM

Gentlemen, let the bidding begin.

United States District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell ruled last week that the city of Detroit does not have to place its three casino licenses out for rebidding.

The ruling clears the way for the MGM Detroit, MotorCity and Greektown to move forward and replace their current temporary facilities with permanent ones.

Bell’s decision was the latest development in a five-year lawsuit filed by Lac Vieux Native American Tribe, which argued that the original auction process was unconstitutional. The tribe alleged that preferential treatment was given in the granting of gaming licenses.

In a released statement, the MGM Mirage and Mandalay Resort Group played down the decision.

"This is a good thing, but we never really thought it to be a serious issue. It is important for investor psychology nonetheless," Reuters reported.

Mandalay Bay owns MotorCity casino, which produced $36.3 million in fiscal first-quarter operating cash flow.

The Lax Vieux Tribe plans to appeal.

"There is certainty there won’t be a rebid," said Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. "Now we need finality and hopefully working with City Council, the people of Detroit can move on to bigger and better things."

MGM wants land

A union hall adjacent to a possible site for the MGM Grand Detroit Casino’s more lavish permanent facility is one step closer to being sold to the parent company.

The Detroit News reported that Local 58 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers voted to sell its headquarters to MGM.

The Grand bid $12.5 million in April for the state’s 9.6-acre Michigan Executive Plaza as a potential site for its permanent casino.

Perks for gamblers

The MGM Grand Detroit Casino is giving frequent gamblers freebies and discounts to interest them in visiting sister properties.

The Detroit Free Press stated that MGM wants to set up cash back, free meals, prizes and other discounts based upon how often customers play and incorporate that into their properties at Treasure Island and Mirage in Las Vegas.

Plans are that by the spring of 2003, the new Players Club cards (which replace the Directors Club cards) will be good at all eight MGM Mirage-owned casinos in Las Vegas, Detroit and Biloxi, Miss.

 GETTING A PERM ”” The Detroit skyline is cleared to receive new and now permanent sites for casinos.