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Michael J. Malik, Sr.: Wikis


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Michael Malik

Michael J. Malik, Sr. (born February 1954) is a developer and entrepreneur from Detroit, Michigan who resides in Birmingham, Michigan. Since the early 1990s he and his partner Marian Ilitch have been catalysts for legalization of gambling and development of gambling halls from coast to coast and in Hawaii with mixed results. Among them: casinos for Michigan's Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in Manistee; and the Bay Mills Indian Community in Brimley and a proposed off-reservation casino in Port Huron; several failed attempts to legalize gambling in the State of Hawaii and develop casinos on Waikīkī Beach; a planned casino resort on Long Island, NY in the Town of Southampton (often referred to as The Hamptons) as "Gateway Casino Resorts, LLC" partnered with the Shinnecock Indians; and as Barwest, LLC, partners with the Big Lagoon Rancheria Indians and the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Mission Indians to develop proposed dual off-reservation casinos in Barstow, California.

In 1996, after several other failed attempts to legalize commercial gaming in Detroit, Malik and another partner, Thomas Celani, bankrolled the campaign urging passage of Michigan Proposal E, the statewide ballot measure that legalized commercial gaming and permitted development of three commercial casinos in Detroit (according to disclosure documents they contributed $5 million plus under Z.R.X. LLC, a "syndicate" they formed which would also include Ilitch Family interests). In subsequent partnership documents and Operating Agreements[1] signed six months after the election and filed with the SEC, their new Las Vegas-based development partner, Circus Circus Enterprises (later named Circus Circus Michigan a subsidiary of Mandalay Resort Group) agreed to reimburse Malik, Celani and other local individuals in consideration for the costs they advanced to qualify and win voter approval of Proposal E.

Detroit Casino Development

As a partner with NAG, Malik directed a ballot effort to bring casino gaming to Detroit, Michigan. In 1996, NAG teamed with Atwater Entertainment to support the passage of a Michigan statewide proposal facilitating the development of three commercial casinos in Detroit. Following passage of the proposal, Malik worked with state elected officials to negotiate and implement the regulatory oversight framework for the Detroit casinos.

Malik was a partner in the casino group Detroit Entertainment, which included Marina Ilitch and more than 130 local partners. Detroit Entertainment selected Mandalay Bay Group as casino operator, and Malik worked with them on the development of the casino project now called MotorCity Casino. His efforts have resulted in an entertainment industry in Detroit that today exceeds $1.3 billion per year.

Native American Gaming

Malik helped develop a casino for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in Manistee in northwest Michigan. He was responsible for site selection and land acquisition, construction firm selection, assistance in obtaining a gaming compact, and establishing casino operations. Today the Little River Casino is the third most profitable Indian owned and operated casino of the 18 located in Michigan.

Malik also assisted in the development of two casinos, a hotel and a golf course for the Bay Mills Indian Tribe in Brimley, Michigan. He assisted the Tribe with the legislative approval process for obtaining the first gaming compact in Michigan. Malik is currently working with the Bay Mills Tribe to develop a casino in Port Huron, Michigan.

Malik is managing partner in the casino development group BarWest L.L.C., and is working with the Los Coyotes Band from San Diego County, California to construct and operate a world-class casino complex in Barstow, California.

Civic & Political Activity

The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) reports that Malik contributed nearly $267,000 to federal candidates and PACs between 2003 and 2006.

Federal lobbying reports required to be filed with the Clerk of the U.S. Senate [2] and compiled by The Center for Public Integrity indicate between $1.0-$1.3 million in lobbying expenses were directed to Wheat Government Relations (former Congressman Alan Wheat the primary D.C. lobbyist representing Malik, Marian Ilitch and their various partners from 2002-2005.)[3]. From 2002-2005, Wheat Government Relations passed through $665,000 to lobbyist Richard Kessler, president of the controversial Ripon Society to lobby on behalf of Malik's interests.[4]

From 2003-2004, Malik also had an agreement with Barbara W. Bonfiglio to pay her firm Williams & Jensen at least $220,000 for representation. According to The Center for Public Integrity, Bonfiglio was concurrently Treasurer for several dozen GOP "leadership" PACs, now under investigation, that were controlled by congressional leaders including Senator Rick Santorum, Congressmen Tom DeLay, Jerry Lewis and Richard Pombo and others.[5]

In 2002 and 2003 respectively, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and GOP Congresswoman Candice Miller (MI-10th) introduced bills seeking Congressionl approval of a land claims settlement agreement with the Bay Mills Indian Community intended to grant the tribe the right to develop an off-reservation casino in a desirable urban location in Port Huron, MI. Neither Malik nor his partners the Ilitch Family had previously been donors to the Congressional campaigns of either Stabenow or Miller; however after they introduced their respective bills, S. 2986[6] and H.R. 831,[7] Federal Election Commission (FEC) records indicate Malik/Ilitch Family members directed $117,000 to committees supporting Stabenow's 2006 re-election campaign and $75,000 to committees directly controlled by Miller.[8]

National media controversy erupted following the 2005 MLB All-Star Game when it was reported Ilitch's son and Malik hosted back to back $5,000 per person fundraisers in the Ilitch owner's suite to benefit Rep. Pombo. Pombo was the powerful chairman of the House Resources Committee overseeing Indian gaming and other related matters in the 109th Congress. Two days following the fundraiser, Pombo's Resources Committee was scheduled to take up a critical matter involving Malik's Indian casino projects.[9] FEC disclosures indicate the day between the fundraiser and the committee hearing, Malik and co-host Christoper Ilitch each wrote $25,000 checks to the Republican National Committee.

Malik affirmed in 2006, that Barwest LLC a casino development enterprise he controls failed to report to the California Secretary of State a contribution of $26,600 given to the "San Joaquin, CA GOP Victory Fund" in October 2004. After an investigation, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) found Malik's company in violation of California's Political Reform Act on two counts and Malik agreed to pay a fine of $6,500 on the $26,600 contribution.[10]

Then in February 2009, California's FPPC again found Malik violated the same provisions of California's Political Reform Act when he failed to disclose seventeen contributions totaling $26,500 in a semi-annual campaign statement covering the Fall 2006 election cycle and filed by Malik in January 2007. Malik was required to file an amended campaign statement[11] disclosing the contributions and ordered to pay a fine of $4,000.[12]

In July 2008, a court appointed Receiver filed charges [13] in a Florida federal court (Goldberg v. Malik [14]) alleging Malik's involvement in a $2.1 million fraudulent transfer stemming from a Securities and Exchange Commission Ponzi scheme case[15] against one-time entertainment promoter John P. Utsick (Jack Utsick).

In August 2008, Malik was found guilty at trial of illegally discharging a firearm in Pinetop, AZ. [16] In related action, the Arizona Game & Fish Commission leveled a civil fine in the amount of $14,995 against Malik in December 2008 for illegaly shooting a trophy elk too close to residential property without the owners' permission. In addition, the Commission revoked Malik's hunting license taking away his right to hunt, fish and trap in Arizona for five years.[17] Arizona is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact with 32 other states, including all western states and Malik’s home state of Michigan. Until his license privileges are restored in Arizona, he will not be able to legally hunt in any of those 32 states.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ US Lobby Registration & Reporting Disclosure Page
  3. ^ LobbyWatch - The Center for Public Integrity
  4. ^ Lobbying Spending Database: Wheat Government Relations Summary, 2005
  5. ^ LobbyWatch - The Center for Public Integrity
  6. ^
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  8. ^ Ilitch Family/Malik Political Co
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External links

Other Business Interests

The owner of MJM Enterprises and Development, Malik is involved in a spectrum of development projects, including hunting and fishing preserves, oil and gas development, financing touring entertainment acts and developing business expansion projects.

Malik has been a real estate developer and licensed broker for more than 25 years. As one of the first 26 Michigan residents licensed in securities and exchange real estate, Malik has developed many commercial projects. He specializes in resort development, industrial parks, retail shopping malls and urban development.



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