The billionaire businessman behind American casino operator Jack Entertainment is reportedly considering an exit from the business with giant rival Caesars Entertainment Corporation said to be among the list of possible bidders.
Helped bring casinos to Ohio:
According to a Wednesday report from the Bloomberg news service, Dan Gilbert (pictured) is worth an estimated $7.8 billion thanks to his Quicken Loans Incorporated mortgage lending firm and established Detroit-based Jack Entertainment in 2009 after helping to back a ballot measure that legalized casino gambling in Ohio.
The news service reported that the 56-year-old businessman serves as Chairman for Jack Entertainment and holds interests in six casinos and racetracks including the Detroit Casino Hotel Greektown as well as Ohio’s Jack Cleveland Casino, Jack Cincinnati Casino and Jack Thistledown Racino.
Downtown casinos disappoint:
Gilbert moreover owns the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and had reportedly hoped that his downtown casinos in ‘rust belt’ cities such as Cincinnati and Cleveland would help to revive their local economies. However, this has purportedly proved harder than expected with his Ohio venues recently ranking third and fourth in terms of revenues among the Midwestern state’s four stand-alone gambling venues.
Operator not commenting on ‘rumors or speculation’:
Bloomberg cited ‘people familiar with’ Gilbert’s plans in detailing that investment banks Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank are representing Jack Entertainment in the potential sale process although the casino operator itself reportedly responded to the news service’s inquiries by declaring that it has a ‘long-standing policy’ of not commenting on ‘rumors or speculation’.
Pair no strangers:
For its part, Caesars Entertainment Corporation is reportedly no stranger to Gilbert as the parties were partners in the Cincinnati and Cleveland casinos, which had been branded under the Horseshoe Casino moniker, until Jack Entertainment assumed complete control three years ago and changed their names. The Las Vegas-headquartered operator is now purportedly considering whether to combine with its Vici Properties Incorporated real estate investment trust (REIT) in order to acquire at least a portion of its smaller rival’s business.