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MotorCity Casino Lends Hand in Neighborhood Clean Up Project

23 August 2000

Back when the casino bidding process was unfolding, Detroit Entertainment, L.L.C. (a limited liability company between Mandalay Resort Group and Atwater Entertainment, L.L.C.) emphasized its strong local ties in seeking one of the three licenses. Its commitment to this community was first demonstrated by its selection of a name for its casino, the "MotorCity Casino," and the great attention to detail put into its Detroit-themed decor.

Prior to the casino's opening, I was given a tour of the facility by one of the key local players involved, Jack Barthwell, III. Mr. Barthwell has long been a supporter of casinos in Detroit, and has always envisioned them to be an economic revitalization tool for the City. As we drove around the outside of the casino, what struck me most about our conversation was not what he had to say about the newly refurbished casino building, but what he had to say about the neighborhood. "You will see a lot of changes," he noted. "We plan to be good neighbors and help in the revitalization of this area." I have to admit that at the time, I was somewhat skeptical of these comments. After all, nowhere in its development agreement with the City had Detroit Entertainment, L.L.C. made this commitment. Without a contractual promise, I suspected the idea would never come to fruition. I was wrong.

MotorCity Casino has recently entered into a "neighborhood partnership" with United Way Community Services and Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. The partnership is a long-term commitment with a goal of improving ten sites and working with the community to improve the quality of life - "one block at a time." The partnership had a kickoff event in the Grand River and Trumball area on a recent Saturday morning and attracted a lot of community support. Community organizations, businesses and area residents picked up, cleaned and beautified various sites including streets, vacant lots, Owen Elementary School and Scripps Park.

"A project of this magnitude cannot be accomplished without a lot of people rolling up their sleeves and getting involved. It was great to see what can be accomplished when a community comes together to help clean up the neighborhood and MotorCity Casino is proud to be a part of this great, ongoing effort," Mr. Barthwell noted.

The kickoff event was a success and the ongoing partnership with the area service organizations shows great promise for the future.

"The MotorCity Neighborhood Partnership allows us the chance to strengthen neighborhoods in a new and exciting way. United Way Community Services looks forward to a long and productive relationship with MotorCity Casino as we work together to build a more caring community," said Geneva J. Williams, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of United Way Community Services."

Similarly, Delois Whitaker Caldwell, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit noted that, "Goodwill has made a long-term commitment to this neighborhood and to the City of Detroit We were excited to host this initiative and we look forward to additional cooperative projects with our neighbors in the future."

Through its efforts, MotorCity Casino has demonstrated its true desire to be a good corporate citizen. The local ties combined with a national partner who is willing to listen (Mandalay Resort Group) have fulfilled the vision of the local partners of the casino being a good neighbor.

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