Sault Tribe Chair Joe McCoy on the Loss of Greektown Casino

Well, they sent it to me, so I’ll post it:

I write this memo to our tribal and casino team members to inform you that after more than two years in Chapter 11 reorganization, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) transferred the license of Greektown Casino from the Tribe to a group of private hedge funds and investors from other states.  This happened yesterday at a special meeting of the MGCB in Detroit.  We anticipate that next week, ownership of the casino will be legally transferred to the group.

The transfer occurred after the MGCB conducted a relatively abbreviated background check of the new owners. We strongly objected to this decision. Concerns were also raised by state Representative Gary McDowell, D-Rudyard, Republican candidate for governor Mike Bouchard (who wrote the state law that governs the three Detroit casinos when he was in the state Senate), state Senate Majority Leader Michael Bishop, R-Troy, and Congressman Bart Stupak, D-Menominee. Unfortunately, the MGCB ignored all the concerns and abandoned its own rules and the process it has used over the years to license casino owners.

The board and I spent many days, weeks, and months reviewing plans and proposals that would allow us to keep a stake in Greektown. Though some might disagree, I truly believe we did all we could to save our interest in this investment.  Now that this decision has been made, it is time for the Tribe to examine other opportunities we have to grow our revenue stream securing membership services for years to come.