Dan Gilbert sells Greektown Casino-Hotel to Penn National Gaming

Casino sells for $1 billion

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Kayla Clarke

DETROIT - Greektown Casino-Hotel is now on its fourth owner.

The Sioux Tribe first owned it, then it went into bankruptcy, and it was sold to bondholders who then sold it to Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert. Now, Gilbert's Jack Entertainment has sold it.

The most recent numbers put out by Michigan's Gaming Control Board show Greektown is by far the smallest of Detroit's casinos with just 24 percent of the city's gaming business. But it's receipts are up nearly 7 percent over last year, which means it's a good time to sell.

Greektown Casino sold for $1 billion. The new operator will be Penn National Gaming, that owns the Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio.

The sale culminates Dan Gilbert's Greektown turnaround that started in 2012. Matt Cullen runs Gilbert's gambling and entertainment arm.

"We really felt like we had accomplished what we wanted to accomplish with the property. We bought it out of the bankruptcy and have been invested in and it wasn't performing well and we got all that turned around," he said.

Casino analyst Jake Miklojcik said the sale won't matter much to the regular visitors of the casino.

Greektown boasts 2,700 gaming machines, 60 table games and 1,700 employees. Sales like this one are becoming common, largely because the big gaming names are looking for big tax advantages.

The new majority owner is VICI Properties, a New York real estate trust that leases casinos to Caesars, Harrah's and Bally's.

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