It would seem that billionaire American businessman Dan Gilbert (pictured) has quietly exited the casino business after reportedly selling off his remaining stake in operator Jack Entertainment to members of the firm’s management team.
According to a Monday report from the Cleveland Scene newspaper, Gilbert is worth an estimated $34 billion thanks to his Quicken Loans Incorporated mortgage lending business and established Detroit-headquartered Jack Entertainment in 2009 after helping to back a ballot measure that legalized casino gambling in Ohio. The operator subsequently went on to hold interests in six gambling-friendly venues including the Greektown Casino Hotel, Jack Cleveland Casino, Jack Cincinnati Casino and Jack Thistledown Racino.
However, the newspaper reported that Gilbert, who also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise of the National Basketball Association (NBA), offloaded his interest in Jack Entertainment’s pair of northeastern Ohio properties to the former Chief Executive Officer for his Bedrock real estate concern, Matthew Cullen, in the summer. This was purportedly followed last month by the 59-year-old’s complete departure following a similar sale for the remainder of his stake with the Michigan company subsequently relocating its headquarters from Detroit to Cleveland.
Cleveland Scene reported that Cullen now serves as Chairman for Jack Entertainment with former Bedrock President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Dunkeson taking over as the casino firm’s Chief Executive Officer. The pair purportedly told the newspaper that ownership of the operator formerly known as Rock Gaming ‘has changed and no longer has any affiliation with Dan Gilbert’s family of companies’ although its management team ‘remains in place’ and now holds ‘the controlling interest of the company.’
Cullen reportedly told The Detroit News in July…
“I joined Bedrock last year at Dan’s request to provide needed direction and focus for the organization. We agreed it would be a short-term role as I was concurrently negotiating the purchase of a controlling interest in the two Jack Entertainment casinos in northeast Ohio. The transaction closed earlier this year and I am now the Chairman and lead investor of the $1 billion enterprise, which is no longer part of Dan’s family of companies. Running this company with my partner, Mark Dunkeson, takes enormous time and attention. We are tremendously excited about the future of our gaming company and see the opportunity for significant growth moving forward.”