Cleveland Cavaliers owner selling Detroit casino in $1B deal

November 14, 2018 - 6:08 am

DETROIT (AP) — Businessman and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has reached a $1 billion agreement to sell the Greektown Casino-Hotel in downtown Detroit, one of the city's three casinos, companies involved in the deal announced Wednesday.

Gilbert's Detroit-based JACK Entertainment said it planned to sell the casino to Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming and New York-based VICI Properties. The deal requires state and federal regulatory approval. JACK Entertainment said it's also "continuing a strategic assessment for its remaining gaming properties" in other states.

Gilbert bought Greektown Casino-Hotel more than five years ago. Under the sale agreement, Penn National will acquire the operating assets of Greektown for about $300 million and VICI Properties will acquire the land and real estate assets for about $700 million.

In a statement, Gilbert and his companies said they plan to use some proceeds from the sale for investment in Detroit real estate and business development. Gilbert already has a major real estate presence in Detroit and has been a key player in the revitalization of the city's downtown.

The sale, he said, "will allow that strong trajectory to continue and provide additional capital to continue our strategic investments in our Detroit real estate and business initiatives."

The sale is expected to be finalized in 2019. During the sale process, plans call for the casino and hotel to remain open. JACK Entertainment said Greektown employees are expected to get compensation and benefit packages at least at current levels.

Penn National owns, operates or has ownership interests in dozens of gambling and racing facilities around the country. JACK Entertainment also owns and operates such properties in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore as well as racing facilities in Ohio and Kentucky.

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