Dan Gilbert Sells JACK Entertainment To Management Team

Ohio State Seal With a Jack Casino Background
Cleveland Cavaliers team owner Dan Gilbert is no longer in the Ohio casino industry.

According to a report from the Cleveland Jewish News, Gilbert sold the Ohio casino company to its management team last month.

Per JACK Board Chairman Matthew Cullen:

“As of December 2020, JACK Entertainment’s ownership has changed and no longer has any affiliation with Dan Gilbert’s family of companies. The JACK management team, who have been with the company since its inception, remains in place and now owns the controlling interest of the company.”

The Only Ohio-Based Gaming Operator in the State

Cullen did not disclose the financial terms of the deal but he revealed via email to CJN that JACK Entertainment has transferred its office from Detroit to Cleveland, making it the only Ohio-based gaming operator among the 11 gaming properties in the state.

In his statement, Cullen also added that he will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board while Mark Dunkeson will retain his position as Chief Executive Officer. Cullen has spent over 10 years working in real estate, gaming, and other initiatives for Dan Gilbert’s family of companies.

Meanwhile, Dunkeson began working with JACK in 2013 and was named as President and COO of Bedrock Detroit LLC in 2019. Previously, Dunkeson was senior vice president of operations for the luxury brand division of Red Rock Resorts in Nevada. He has a 30-year experience in commercial gaming, resort and hospitality development.

Lease-Back Agreement With VICI Properties

JACK Entertainment operates JACK Cleveland Casino downtown and JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall via lease-back with VICI Properties who purchased the two properties for $843M in 2019.

These two Ohio casinos combine for $400-500M in annual revenues. According to its website, JACK has a team of 1,400 members with 16 bars and casinos, and 150,000 square feet of gaming space.

JACK Cleveland was the first casino to open in Ohio in May 12. It was then called the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland owned by a partnership of Caesars Entertainment and Gilbert’s companies. The following year, JACK opened Thistledown as the second Ohio casino.