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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Herbst COO named company president

17 March 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Herbst Gaming said Thursday that Ferenc Szony has been named the gaming company's new president in addition to his current role as COO. Herbst Chairman Ed Herbst, who had been the company's president, will continue to be chairman and CEO.

Szony joined Herbst Gaming in January 2007 when the company completed a $119 million buyout of Sands Regent, a Reno-area casino operator. Szony had been president and CEO of Sands Regent, which operated four Northern Nevada casinos.

Szony also held executive positions with the Hilton Hotels Corp., including president of the Reno Hilton.

"My brothers and I are excited to have Ferenc working with us in this expanded role," Herbst said in a statement. Herbst, along with his brothers Tim and Troy Herbst, own and operate Herbst Gaming.

"Mr. Szony's duties will include, among others, direct oversight of all revenue generating business activities of the company," Ed Herbst said.

Herbst Gaming announced Feb. 28 it has asked Goldman Sachs to assist in evaluating financial and strategic alternatives for the company because of its large debt. The company operates 16 casinos in Nevada, Missouri and Iowa. The company also has a Nevada slot machine route operation with some 7,000 machines in 700 restaurants, taverns, convenience stores, bars and grocery stores.