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Backlog Delays State's Decision On Formal OK Of MGM's Landlord

6 October 2000

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Oct. 6, 2000 – As reported by The Detroit News: "Michigan gaming board investigators for the last 14 months have been checking into a Soave family trust that serves as landlord for the $200-million temporary MGM Grand casino in Detroit, but they have come to no decision.

"Meanwhile, the trust-owned firm that leases the $1-million-a-day casino property to MGM continues to have its temporary license renewed every 90 days.

"`It's a slow process,' explained Nelson Westrin, chairman of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. `Our people are doing dozens of investigations, and there's a backlog.'

"…For his part, Grosse Pointe Farms multimillionaire Anthony Soave, who in mid-1999 put Lodge/Abbott Associates in trust for his two 20-something daughters, Andrea and Angelique, insists that the licensing delay is no problem.

"…The Soave situation came up this week when the gaming board reinstated Roy Roberts, William Pickard and Anthony Gramer among the 10 minority investors in the MGM Grand property.

"The trio had withdrawn voluntarily a year ago after gaming investigators found that they had failed to fully disclose various minor violations during background checks.

"…In order for the MGM Grand to open in the summer of 1999, Soave had to be checked out by Westrin's people. Because it was so late, they cut a deal where Soave put his investment in trust for his daughters.

"…Westrin admits there are some ticklish questions that have to be answered about the trust's control and ownership.

"…Westrin said the state has questions, too, about the trust agreement's fine print…"

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