DETROIT - The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians announced an agreement to sell a 40% interest in their Greektown Casino to Entertainment Interests Group LLC for $100 million. The deal now goes to the Michigan Gaming Control Board for approval. Last month the Gaming Control Board said it could force Greektown to sell if it failed to find an equity partner before April 30th because the casino must make up for shortfalls to its 2007 financial requirements.
"Presuming the agreement is executed, this moves the casino's ownership structure closer to what was in place prior to the opening of Greektown Casino, when the Sault Tribe had a significant equity partner," said Tom Miller, chairman of the Greektown Casino Management Board and a Sault Tribe Board member. The casino opened in 2000 sharing 50% ownership with a group of Detroit developers and community leaders.
Sault Tribe Chairperson Aaron Payment said "It's no secret that we have been seeking ways to improve our competitive position, to reduce our debt, and to shore up our management. This transaction is necessary for Greektown Casino to become a significant supporter of Sault Tribe member programs and services."
Last November the Greektown completed the first phase of a major expansion project when it opened its new parking structure. It is now in phase two with building a 400-room hotel and adding 25,000 more square feet of gaming space. Completion is expected in a few months. The total investment in the Greektown Casino will be about $500 million.
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