Issue 227
January 17 - 23, 2005
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News

Casino could neighbor Bradley Center

Jordan places bet on Las Vegas development

Greek Mythology (Macau) Entertainment Group Limited Plans to Submit Development Concept for Integrated Resort Project in Singapore

Sportech Strikes Deal with Boss Media

Parlay Entertainment Inc. Completes Relocation of its Corporate Domicile

Show Time Eddie Money performs at the Gold Strike Casino Resort.

Column New Wrinkles on Blackjack By John Grochowski

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

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Casino could neighbor Bradley Center

As Reported by the MSNBC News

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - Representatives of the Bradley Center are talking with the Forest County Potawatomi about the possibility of developing a casino near the downtown Milwaukee sports and entertainment venue. Ulice Payne, chairman of the Bradley Center board, confirmed he has held "preliminary discussions" with the Potawatomi, which already operate a casino in the Menomonee Valley, about locating a downtown casino on a parking lot adjacent to the Bradley Center. The tribe could lease the 3-acre lot on the northeast corner of North Sixth Street and West Highland Boulevard or consider combining the parking lot with other parcels that are also owned by the Bradley Center to assemble a site.

"I've had a number of discussions with them about several possibilities," Payne said in an interview.

Forest County Potawatomi attorney general Jeff Crawford said he was willing to listen to pitches to move the casino, which is currently at 1721 W. Canal St., to downtown. The tribe has proposed a $240 million expansion of the Menomonee Valley location, but the project is on hold until the Potawatomi can reached a new gaming compact with the state of Wisconsin.

"As long as there is not a hole in the ground (for the expansion) in the Menomonee Valley, we still have time to discuss this," Crawford said. "We want to continue to talk to the business community to see if relocating the casino to downtown would be good for Milwaukee."

An opening of a downtown casino would need the approval of the city of Milwaukee, the state and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Crawford and Payne dismissed speculation that the tribe would purchase the Bradley Center and renovate it for a casino, with the Bradley Center using the proceeds to build a new downtown arena.

"Nothing like that has been put on the table for us to consider," Crawford said.

Crawford said the biggest question about moving the casino downtown would be the amount of assistance the tribe would receive from the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County because of the financial investment it has already made in the Menomonee Valley.

"We haven't seen any solid proposals yet, but we remain concerned about how our significant financial investment in the valley would be handled," he said.

Big draw

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said he would be willing to consider a downtown casino near the Bradley Center. In 2004, Walker and then-Acting Milwaukee Mayor Marvin Pratt formed a task force to study the possibility of a downtown casino. However, after Mayor Tom Barrett was elected, Walker said the city backed out of the task force because Barrett "had no interest in pursuing it."

Barrett said he would be willing to discuss a downtown site with the Potawatomi.

"It would make some sense for us to take a hard look at this right now before it is too late and the Potawatomi start construction in the valley," Walker said.

A downtown casino would yield nearly 5,500 more jobs and $27 million a year in spending over more modest increases generated from an expansion at the casino's current location, according to a recent study funded by Juneau Avenue Partners, developer of the $395 million PabstCity entertainment and housing complex proposed for the former Pabst Brewery. The study found that a downtown casino also would mean $36 million more in state income and sales taxes and higher casino payments for the city and county. Juneau Avenue

Partners has discussed luring the Potawatomi to its project.

Crawford said negotiations are continuing with the state on a new gaming compact. The state Supreme Court ruled in May that Gov. Jim Doyle did not have the authority to sign a deal with the Forest County Potawatomi. The court said the deal did not have a firm termination date, illegally suspended the state's immunity from lawsuits and wrongly allowed the tribe to offer new games.

The Potawatomi is also awaiting a ruling from the state Supreme Court on a lawsuit filed by Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha that contends Indian gambling in the state is unconstitutional. Dairyland initially filed the lawsuit in October 2001 to prevent then-Gov. Scott McCallum from entering into any compacts and trying to shut down the casinos.

The Court of Appeals passed the case to the state Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court deadlocked on a 3-3 vote and sent it back to the Court of Appeals. Crawford said the Court of Appeals recently sent the case back to the Supreme Court, where it is awaiting a decision on whether it would be heard again.

Jordan places bet on Las Vegas development
As reported by USA Today

LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Michael Jordan has been known to wager on everything from golf to the basketball shoot-around game H-O-R-S-E. Now His Airness will try his luck as a partner in the planned Aqua Blue Luxury Condominium Hotel Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.

But Jordan may be risking something more valuable with his Vegas investment: his status as Madison Avenue's all-time pitchman.

Ground will be broken this summer on the $600 million development that includes a casino. The 825-unit complex, with condos selling for $399,000 to $1.2 million, is to open in 2007.

The arrangement could "cause problems" with companies such as Nike and Gatorade that pay Jordan an estimated $25 million a year for endorsements, says David Carter, principal of Sports Business Group.
As a player, Jordan clashed with NBA Commissioner David Stern over his gambling habits. But Jordan will tout Aqua Blue in ads.

Michael Peterson, owner of Diversified Real Estate Concepts, the resort's developer, says Jordan will have "absolutely zero" financial stake in the casino operation.

Peterson says Jordan's financial interests will include ownership of a Michael Jordan's Steakhouse and a Michael Jordan's 23.sportcafe; partial ownership of a rooftop nightclub/restaurant; and licensed use of his name for the Michael Jordan Athletic Center, an upscale 65,000-square foot sports club.

The NBA doesn't let owners, or potential owners, hold interests in gaming businesses that take bets on NBA or WNBA games. Since Jordan is not affiliated with any NBA team and will have no stake in the gaming operation, the league says it is not concerned.

Jordan and investor partners already own Jordan-themed restaurants at the Mohegan Sun casino resort in Uncasville, Conn.

"It's common for NBA players to enter into entrepreneurial pursuits when their playing days are over," NBA spokesman Matt Bourne says.

Sports marketing expert Nova Lanktree says: "If Michael were still with the Washington Wizards, then the league would get involved and rightly so. But if Michael is not involved in the game of basketball, this sounds like, 'Go for it and good luck.' "

Similar to Magic Johnson's move into movie theaters, Jordan is evolving from paid endorser to owner/entrepreneur. He's expanding steakhouses and cafes around the country. He retains a stake in and much control over Nike's 7-year-old "Jordan" lifestyle brand.

During a three-year run with the Wizards, Jordan was team president and a player before leaving theorganization in May 2003.

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