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American Vantage Companies' Appeal Upheld by Court

10 October 2002

LAS VEGAS--(Press Release)--American Vantage Cos. (NASDAQ:AVCS) announced today that the Court of Appeals of the State of California, Fifth District, recently reversed the April 2001 order filed by the Superior Court of California, County of Fresno. The April 2001 order originally dismissed the company's civil action for breach and premature termination of the company's consulting contract with the Table Mountain Rancheria Casino & Bingo. The Superior Court's dismissal was based on its determination that federal law completely preempts the field of Indian gaming, but made no ruling on the merits of the action against the Table Mountain Rancheria Band of Indians.

However, the Court of Appeals concluded that, "... the contracts at issue here are not, on their face, subject to the IGRA (Indian Gaming Regulation Act). Rather, only state law claims are involved. Consequently, appellant's complaint does not raise a federal question. Accordingly, the trial court erred in granting Table Mountain's motion to dismiss for lack of state court jurisdiction."

With the reversal of the Superior Court's ruling, the company is now able to pursue its claim against the Table Mountain Rancheria Band of Indians in California Superior Court.

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