Detroit Expands Casinos For More Cash

<p>Desperate for jobs and tax revenue, the City of Detroit has permitted its three original casino operators to build new larger complexes.</p>
October 20, 2007, 11am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Battered by the near collapse of America's motoring industry, Detroit is betting on gaming as a way to revive its fortunes. MGM's 400-room hotel is the biggest of three huge gaming developments in the city. It incorporates a spa, designer restaurants and an upmarket nightclub with room rates of up to $4,000 a night for a VIP suite. MGM's marketing material declares that "the world has seven wonders - now Detroit has one".

However, the new casinos have not come without criticism.

"Matt Allen, press secretary to the city's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, says: "Detroit is the largest African American city in our country. There was a lot of consternation from preachers that people would lose their homes, that morally this was wrong."

But the sheer volume of money raised from the casinos has quietened some of the more strident criticism. Allen says the three sites yield taxes of between $440,000 and $500,000 a day - or $170m annually. "That buys a lot of fire trucks, a lot of police officers, a lot of parks and recreation and it keeps the lights on in a lot of public buildings."

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Published on Friday, October 19, 2007 in The Guardian Unlimited
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