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MGM Grand Demonstrates Commitment to the Economic Success of Detroit

24 May 2006

Earlier this month, Mike Neubecker, Vice President of Finance for MGM Grand Detroit Casino, gave a presentation to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) on the status of MGM economic development efforts in the City of Detroit.

According to the development agreements between the City of Detroit and the three casinos, each casino has a number of business and social commitments it must uphold. These responsibilities include items such as maintaining a diverse workforce and using best efforts to conduct business locally. Mr. Neubecker's presentation affirmed MGM's commitment to the community by highlighting its 2005 successes.

In 2005, 70% of MGM Grand Detroit's operating expenses were with targeted businesses, which include minority, female-owned, and Detroit-based businesses. In recognition of this ongoing commitment to local business, MGM was awarded the Michigan Minority Development Council's Corporation of the Year award the past two years.

Besides doing business locally, MGM has shown a commitment to employing local workers and creating diversity within the workplace. Of the total staff, 53% live within the City of Detroit, 66% are minority and 59% are female. MGM has also done its part to ensure diversity throughout all levels of its staff – 53% of supervisors and above are minority and 44% are female.

MGM Grand Detroit has also shown dedication to giving back to the community through multiple contributions and programs.

The MGM Voice Foundation is a program that allows employees to make donations, via payroll deduction or direct contribution, to a charity of their choice. In 2005, most Voice Foundation contributions went directly to charities within the City of Detroit. In addition to the Voice Foundation, MGM Grand Detroit provided approximately 100,000 meals to local food banks, and distributed 700 food baskets, coats, mittens and hats to needy area families.

Mr. Neubecker also discussed the economic impact of MGM's permanent casino project, which is currently under construction. This project is the largest construction project currently taking place in the state of Michigan. With a budget of $765 million, it tops past developments including the GM Renaissance Center, the CompuWare headquarters, Ford Field and Comerica Park. A construction project of this size will surely bring about several job opportunities, and of the total number of companies signed on to date, 56% are targeted businesses, which almost doubles the goal set by the City of Detroit. In addition to construction jobs, MGM's new casino is expected to create over 1,000 new casino and hotel jobs, the majority of which will be filled by Detroit residents.

Too often, casinos are the subject of negative media reports which ignore the economic benefits these huge entertainment complexes bring to a community. In Detroit, MGM has contributed time and money to several local charities and organization, and has created, and sustained a diverse workforce. More importantly, MGM and the other Detroit casinos have created new economic activity in a marketplace that has been struggling as a results of hardships in the auto industry.

David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com
David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com