Detroit-based Rock Gaming, the joint venture partner with Caesars Entertainment Corp. on casino projects in Ohio and Maryland, has ventured out on its own.
The company, which is controlled by Quicken Loans founder and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, announced Wednesday it will acquire a majority interest in the Greektown Casino-Hotel in downtown Detroit.
A purchase price was not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to approval by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
“A primary focus of our investment strategy over the past few years has been on urban casino development in large Midwest cities, along with significant real estate investment and development in those cities,” Rock Gaming CEO Matt Cullen said in a statement.
Rock Gaming and Caesars operate the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland and are opening the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati in March. The companies are developing the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which has a planned opening in 2014.
Caesars owns a casino in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, which is situated across the Detroit River from downtown Detroit.
Last May, Penn National Gaming opened the Hollywood Casino Toledo in Ohio, which is about 75 miles away from Detroit.
“So far we haven’t seen new gaming capacity in Toledo have a material impact on Detroit’s three commercial casinos,” Union Gaming Group managing director Bill Lerner told investors.
Greektown opened in 2000 and generated $352.8 million in gaming revenues in 2011. According to Michigan gaming regulators, the casino posted roughly $325 million in gaming revenues for the first 11 months of 2012.
Rock Gaming didn’t indicate plans for property level refurbishments, but would make operational improvements at Greektown, which is located a few minutes away from the Quicken Loans corporate headquarters.
“Our plans are in the early phases,” Gilbert said in a statement. “However, we envision significant investment in the Greektown, as well as the enhancement and growth of the existing entertainment district.”