Sad passing of Detroit casino magnate
In a casino, there will be winners and losers and even though everyone can have their day, there will likely be the people that emerge on top over a long period of time. No one can get lucky for that amount of time so if someone is at the top of the game for a long amount of time, it is usually because they have earned their place there. Whether this is through skill, judgment, effort or a combination of all these things, a casino is the place where everyone can be a champion for a day or two but only so many get to become the Kings and Queens for a lifetime.
Few would argue that Don Barden, legendary Detroit casino magnate was anything other than one of the folks at the top of their game for a lengthy period of time and there are many sad people in the casino industry at this moment in time. This is because Barden has passed away after battling lung cancer.
A wealth of casino and other business experience
Barden has had over 40 years in the casino industry but has also been heavily involved and successful in the real estate business and even the entertainment industry. It is no stretch of the imagination to say that Barden was one of the major African-American entrepreneurs in the United States of America.
Friend of the stars
Barden was at the head of a number of casinos which managed to have an annual revenue of around $520m and he knew how to mix with the rich and famous. Barden was friends with Michael Jackson, was a close associate of Aretha Franklin and was able to call upon Smokey Robinson to perform at casino hall openings for him.
Barden started off in business with a number of ventures, including owning a record store, a nightclub, running his own newspaper and even real estate development work. In addition to this, Barden also became involved with local politics in Lorain.
In 1996, Barden started operating the Majestic Star riverboat casino in Gary, Indiana and in 97, followed this up with the launch of a gambling boat costing in excess of $50m to replace it. In the first half of the 2000s, Barden spread his casino control across America, opening in Colorado, Mississippi, Las Vegas before returning to Indiana with an even bigger casino.
In a time when casinos appear to be getting a bad rap, the sad passing of a man who always fought his corner in the industry will be felt.