Penn National Rebrands Venue as Hollywood Casino at Greektown

Detroit casino undergoes $30 million in renovations and will be the first in Michigan to offer the company’s mywallet technology.
photo of downtown detroit at night showing the Hollywood Casino Greektown Casino & Hotel. Detroit casino undergoes $30 million in renovations and will be the first in Michigan to offer the company's mywallet technology.
By
April 26, 2022

Penn National Gaming announced Monday that it is rebranding the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit as the Hollywood Casino at Greektown.

The rebranding is subject to customary regulatory approvals but is expected to take effect on May 1. It also reflects Penn National’s business strategy of getting its flagship Hollywood name front and center.

“Becoming Hollywood Casino at Greektown will offer our guests the best of both worlds,” said John Drake, the casino’s general manager. “We’re keeping all of the unique, neighborhood charm that has defined Greektown since we opened our doors, while adding several new amenities that come with being a part of Penn National’s flagship brand family.”

Penn National’s Barstool brand is the casino’s online casino and sportsbook provider. Since the market opened, it has been among the six mid-sized operators in terms of revenue. Barstool grossed $5.2 million in online poker and casino in March, the most recent month with figures available. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) does not separate online poker revenue from casino revenue.

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The Hollywood Name

Greektown was one of 44 properties managed by Penn National that did not have Hollywood in the name.

Last year, Penn National made several changes in its home state of Pennsylvania. It rebranded Meadows Racetrack and Casino as Hollywood Casino at the Meadows in October 2021. It also opened Hollywood Casino York in August, followed by Hollywood Casino Morgantown in December.

“We would be the next in line for a Hollywood rebrand since the Meadows,” Ryan Bufalini, vice president of marketing for Penn National, told Michigan Gaming Review on Monday. Hollywood Casino at the Meadows is located in Washington, PA.

Improved Technology, Special Events on Order

Penn National said Hollywood Casino at Greektown would be the first casino in Michigan to offer mywallet — a cashless, cardless feature that’s built into its mobile mychoice rewards app. The feature uses Bluetooth technology to allow players to connect to slot machines and table games via their phone. Players are also able to add funds to their accounts, collect winnings, and earn rewards.

The company spent $30 million on renovations to the facility, which included a new hotel lobby, cocktail bar, and redesigns of all 400 guestrooms and suites. Renovations to the guestroom are still ongoing and are “expected to be completed in the coming months,” the company said.

To celebrate the rebranding, Penn National said it would host red-carpet themed private VIP and community events at the casino from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on May 19, and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on May 21. Entertainment and refreshments will be provided, as well as opportunities to win luxury cruises, trips to Las Vegas, a Mercedes-Benz lease and free slot play for all participants in the mychoice rewards program.

Hollywood Casino at Greektown will also donate $10,000 to the Greektown Neighborhood Partnership, which coordinates beautification and maintenance efforts in the Greektown neighborhood, among other things.

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A Brief History of Greektown Casino

The casino was built in the former Trappers Alley indoor mall in the Greektown area of downtown Detroit, hence the facility’s name as Greektown Casino when it first opened in 2000. A 30-floor hotel tower catty-corner from the casino proper opened in 2007.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians held a majority interest in the casino when it first opened but were compelled to sell it in 2008 during the Great Recession after declaring bankruptcy. SEC records show that two investor groups — Greektown Newco Sub and Greektown Superholdings — controlled the property when it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010. The latter sold Greektown Casino to Rock Gaming in 2013.

Rock Gaming renamed itself Jack Entertainment in 2016. The company made preparations to change the name of the casino, too, to Jack Detroit Casino-Hotel Greektown by the end of that year, but the change was never implemented. Jack Entertainment sold Greektown Casino to Penn National and Vici Properties in 2018 for $1 billion. Vici Properties is a real estate investment trust company that was spun off from Caesars Entertainment.

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