DETROIT - The Michigan Gaming Control Board has given the Sault St.
Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians until April 30th to find a financial partner for
the Greektown Casino to complete a permanent casino including a hotel. If not
the tribe could be forced to sell.
The gaming board monitors the income-to-debt ratios of casinos to ensure they meet financial obligations. They found Greektown was below the required income levels in 2007 and estimate they will not make them again in 2008.
"We've gone out of our way by giving them extensions," said Damian Kassab, chairman of the gaming board. "I hope they turn around. That's our main goal -- to see a successful, safe operation. To the extent that casino may not be operated at the best level, that's a concern. We treat them individually. We know there are special circumstances, but we expect a certain level of performance and commitment in hard dollars. We haven't had to get into covenant issues with other casinos because they have been operated in a more financially sound manner."
If the gaming board forces the tribe to sale their casino, they will have up to 180 days to negotiate a sale subject to approval by the board.
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