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December 21, 2014

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MGM Grand expects to spend $750 million on Detroit casino

MGM Grand Inc. expects to spend about $750 million to build a casino in Detroit, company President Alex Yemenidjian announced Tuesday.

The Las Vegas-based company received one of three casino franchises awarded last month by Mayor Dennis Archer. It is negotiating with city officials on terms of an agreement to operate the casino.

At a conference of gambling and hotel officials in Las Vegas, Yemenidjian said MGM Grand is seeking an 18 percent to 22 percent return on its investment in the Detroit casino. With government approval, it could open a temporary casino late next year, he said.

On Nov. 20, Archer recommended that the city's three casino licenses be awarded to Atwater/Circus Circus, Greektown/Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and MGM Grand.

The three finalists must now negotiate development pacts with Archer, a process that the mayor said could take two to three months. City Council must approve those agreements, which then will be reviewed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board before any license is issued.

The casinos, along with their restaurants, retail outlets and hotels with a total of 2,600 rooms, are expected to create 11,300 jobs and roughly $250 million in yearly payroll.

Yemenidjian announced the plans Tuesday morning at the American Gaming and Lodging Summit.

Yemenidjian also said the company probably will invest about $700 million in a casino hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. He said MGM Grand will put about $500 million into its Las Vegas gambling operations, which will be renamed the "City of Entertainment."

The complex will include Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, which will be built at an estimated cost of $350 million, he said. The hotels probably will be sold to a third party, he said.

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