DETROIT — A company connected to the business empire of Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert has an agreement to buy a majority stake in the Greektown Casino and Hotel in downtown Detroit.
Rock Gaming, the gaming partnership affiliated with Rock Ventures, Wednesday announced that one of its affiliated companies, Athens Acquisition LLC, has an agreement to buy a majority interest in Greektown Superholdings Inc., owner of the Greektown Casino-Hotel.
The acquisition must be approved 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 Ventures LLC CEO Matt Cullen said in a statement. “With a substantial focus on downtown Detroit, the Greektown opportunity could not be more in the epicenter of our business and civic interests.”
Also in a statement, Rock Gaming chairman Gilbert said: “Our plans are in the early phases. However, we envision significant investment in the Greektown Casino-Hotel, as well as the enhancement and growth of the existing entertainment district. We see this unique area extending to Campus Martius and along Woodward Avenue building on the positive momentum already occurring in the heart of downtown Detroit.”
Although Rock Gaming has partnered with Caesars Entertainment on other gaming developments, Rock officials said Caesars will play no role at this property.
Rock Gaming was formed in 2010 with an initial focus to develop full-service casinos in two of Ohio’s largest cities, as well as to explore other potential gaming opportunities.
Rock Gaming partnered with Caesars to develop and operate Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, which opened in May 2012, and Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which is scheduled to open on March 4, 2013, pending licensure. With Caesars, Rock Gaming also owns Turfway Park, a Thoroughbred horseracing track located in northern Kentucky and Cleveland-area thoroughbred racetrack Thistledown, which will open as a racino in spring 2013. The partners are also developing an urban casino in Baltimore, Md. which is expected to open in 2014.
Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures’ flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender and third largest retail lender. Since 2010, Quicken Loans has moved its headquarters and more than 7,000 employees to downtown Detroit.