Greektown Slows its Weekday Lunches

Roobet Crash

Greektown Casino has become the third Detroit casino to eliminate a full-service weekday lunch business, laying off several workers at its upscale Alley Grille steakhouse because of slow business. Earlier, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity casinos tried to increase their weekday clientele, but efforts failed. “People want something quick during the week, and to have a sit-down meal just doesn’t work,” says Greektown Chief Operating Officer Salvatore Semola. The casino recently eliminated 17 jobs, mainly in its food-service operations, including the weekday lunch staff at Alley Grille and the breakfast shift at its casual Grapevine Cafe. At Detroit’s MotorCity casino, efforts to keep its high-end La Shish restaurant open on weekdays included trying to rent it out to businesses for weekday luncheons, but without success… “to get people to sit down for a leisurely lunch … we just haven’t been able to develop that business,” says MotorCity General Manager Rhonda Cohen. Greektown casino points out that its 17 layoffs are the first since its opening November 2000. They  represent less than 1 percent of the casino’s 2,300 workers. Greektown plans to rehire the idled workers at some point.

Former Casino Cruise Workers Aid Investigators

Stardancer Casino Cruises, which left Little River (South Carolina) on Dec. 9, is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and FBI officials for possible mail fraud and tax evasion. Former employees of the casino cruise company are scheduled to meet this Roobet Crash week with federal agents to help with the investigation. “Whatever they ask, if I know the answer, I’ll tell them,” says Dee Burns, former corporate director of human resources. Stardancer’s business included a casino boat in Little River and four others in Florida. It has not operated since Jan 14, when the company’s Little River headquarters and Florida offices were raided by FBI officials. Company president Sam Gray Sr., who has not been charged, has accusations against him ranging from not claiming assets on tax forms to using company money to buy $18,000 worth of furniture for his house in Gulfport, Fla., according to court records.

Connecticut Halts Casino-Style Fundraisers

This year’s post-prom party at Masuk High School, which traditionally includes a section of casino-style games for entertainment, will have to do without the games- because casino-style events and fundraiser are no longer allowed in Connecticut. The Department of Special Revenue has repealed its Las Vegas Nights law, which prohibits nonprofit organizations from holding casino-style events and fundraisers. The General Assembly repealed the law Jan. 6, and Governor John Rowland approved it. When the law was passed in 1976, it allowed non-profit organizations and charities to use casino-style games as poker, roulette, blackjack, craps and money wheels to raise funds. Now, violators can be fined or imprisoned, department spokesman Rosemary Palmer said. The post-prom party has been a supervised late-night celebration for high school students after their prom. The Masuk Parent-Teacher Club organized the event to help curb underage drinking among prom-goers, and they included the casino-style entertainment as part of the night’s festivities.  Students at the post-prom party who wanted to participate would receive poker chips to play games as blackjack and roulette, and turn in the chips for prizes at the end of the night.