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Howard Stutz

Vegas company withdraws from Detroit casino

15 June 2010

DETROIT, Michigan -- Detroit's Greektown Casino can't seem to find a management team.

Warner Gaming, which is operated by former Station Casinos executive Bill Warner, told Michigan gaming regulators it has withdrawn its application to manage Greektown.

The casino, one of three in Detroit, had been expected to emerge from bankruptcy on June 30. A federal bankruptcy judge gave the casino's owners more time to find a new management team.

Warner Gaming became the second casino management company to pull out of a deal to operate Greektown. In February, Isle of Capri Casinos withdrew from its contract.

Las Vegas-based Fine Point Group, which is operated by gaming executive Randall Fine, previously managed Greektown while the casino was in bankruptcy. Fine Point grew market share to about 27 percent from 23 percent in 2008. The management agreement expired at the end of 2009.

Michigan's Gaming Control Board meets in a special on June 28 to discuss Greektown.

The Detroit News asked Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, who he thought was qualified to step in and manage Greektown. Eadington suggested the Las Vegas-based Navegante Group, which operated by long-time casino executive Larry Woolf, and Fine Point.