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Puggi to Take Charge of Greektown

More than a year after it has emerged from bankruptcy, the Greektown Casino Hotel in Michigan has a new CEO. The state’s Gaming Control Board voted unanimously to approve Michael Puggi as Greektown’s next chief executive officer.

Puggi is a 30-year casino veteran with experience across the country, including Atlantic City, Las Vegas and the Midwest. He has worked in management for MGM Resorts International and Herbst Gaming.

At the board hearing, Puggi seemed confident about the challenges ahead. “Obviously, with my appointment, we provide some consistency, some direction going forward, and I think that the staff is going to gravitate toward that. Greektown’s positioned very well to really move forward.”

Greektown filed for bankruptcy in 2008 with more than $800 million in debt. It was the last of Detroit’s three casinos to open and the last to complete its permanent facility and 400-room hotel.

The growing number of potential competitors in Michigan and Ohio are one of the challenges the new CEO will have to face. In addition, Mayor Dave Bing has proposed raising the city’s casino tax by 3 percent to help with the city’s budget crisis. Detroit’s three casinos are opposing the measure.