Detroit can push ahead

August 06, 2002 4:11 AM
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With more twists and turns in the past month than a Hitchcock thriller, the City Council finally granted final approval for Detroit to benefit from permanent casino sites.

The vote resolved a combative issue and handed Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick a hard-won victory. The MGM Detroit and MotorCity agreements received a passing vote of 6-3 from the council. Greektown Casino was ratified 8-1.

In his victory speech, Kilpatrick said the Council "stood up for Detroit."

That was high praise from the Detroit mayor, who had little good to say about the Council in past months.

"Council made us step up and new Detroit has the best deal on the table," Kilpatrick said in a Detroit News story last Friday."

The financial deals approved by the Council are good for 30 years. Kilpatrick promised that an agreement would guarantee 400-to-600 million dollars in casino profits over the three decades.

Greektown will move to a location with greater visibility near Interstate-375. MotorCity will expand at its site northwest of downtown. MGM Grand will build just north of its current locale on the east side of Lodge Freeway.

Davis plays hardball

California Gov. Gray Davis refused to meet with the San Miguel and Pechanga tribes over several gaming issues.

The Indian bands would like a greater voice in the growth of gambling in the state, as well as helping speed the payment of trust funds to poor tribes.

Nongaming tribes were expected to receive about $1.1 million a year out of the fund, but have received less than half that amount. Six Inland tribes have received money from the fund.

Clubs begin appeal

A San Francisco attorney representing four Bay Area card rooms filed papers with an appeals court seeking to overturn a decision last Monday that upheld Indian gaming in the state.

"We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling," attorney Robert D. Links said in Palm Desert Sun story.

The statewide vote approved the use of Las Vegas-style slot machines and house-banked card games in tribal casinos.

Coachella Valley tribes have built two new casinos and expanded three others since March 2000 when Proposition 1A passed with nearly 65 percent of the vote.

Welcome aboard

Aztar’s gamble for dockside gaming in Indiana has apparently paid off.

Flexible boarding times were offered to customers, meaning that customers no longer have to arrive at established times in order to take two-hour cruises on Lake Michigan or the Ohio River.

Aztar, the parent company for the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The company was promoting flexible boarding in a bid to counter a casino in Metropolis, Ill., that has offered dockside gambling since 1999.

ALSO: Corning Casino in Rolling Hills, Calif., opened its doors last Tuesday to a crowd of several hundred patrons. . . Lucky Eagle, a 7-year-old casino in Washington state, just completed finishes touches on a $6 million renovation near Oakville.