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Ameristar Casino St. Charles Recaps Results From First Year of Operation in New Facility

6 August 2003

ST. CHARLES, Missouri -- (Press Release) -- Today, Ameristar Casino St. Charles celebrates one year of operation in its new facility.

It started with the "casino crawl," lines of cars on Highway 70 streaming into the all-new Ameristar Casino for its grand opening on Tuesday, August 6, 2002. Since that day, the "all-new" Ameristar Casino St. Charles has come a long way.

Since August 2002, no less than 3.9 million visitors have passed through the facility. Ameristar's restaurants have served more than 1.7 million meals -- an average of 157,000 per month. And the all-new Ameristar boasts a bevy of accomplishments and contributions to the local economy over the past year, including new jobs and additional tax revenues.

Shortly after opening, Ameristar became the leader in market share in St. Louis and then, in the entire state. Ameristar's market share in June 2003 was 31.9 percent, compared to 21.7 percent in June 2002, for an increase of more than 10 percent in the new facility. Monthly revenues have increased an average of $23.6 million in the time period of August 2002 through July 2003, up from an average of $14 million per month in the same time period for 2001-2002.

"Since opening, we haven't looked back," said Tony Raymon, senior vice president for Ameristar Casinos, Inc. and general manager of the St. Charles property. "We are incredibly proud of the quality product and outstanding economic benefits Ameristar has brought to the region."

With increasing revenues also come increased tax contributions. Ameristar estimates gaming tax from August 2002 through July 2003 at just over $50 million, admissions tax of $20.2 million and sales tax of $1.8 million. Ameristar also pays property tax, tourism tax, use tax, corporate income tax and payroll tax for a total estimated tax burden of more than $84.8 million for the one-year period. Of that total, the city of St. Charles is estimated to receive $10.1 million in admission taxes alone.

The economic impact on the region is reflected not only by an increased tax base, but also in jobs created by the new facility. Ameristar employs more than 1,900 people (approximately twice the workforce of the previous facility), 89 percent of which are full-time team members. In the past year, Ameristar team members earned more than $40 million in salaries, wages and declared tips and the casino paid more than $15 million for employee benefits, including health, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage as well as a 401k retirement plan.

With seven distinct restaurant and entertainment venues, Ameristar's food and beverage purchases also increased substantially from the previous facility. Over the last 12 months, Ameristar has purchased $13.3 million in food and beverage goods -- 97 percent from local Missouri vendors.

In addition to the positive economic impact over the past year, the new Ameristar has also received tremendous recognition for its quality product and service. The Riverfront Times named Ameristar "Best Casino" in the annual Best of St. Louis issue, just one month after opening. Ameristar St. Charles won a record 22 individual number one rankings in the 2003 Casino Player "Best of Gaming" survey and 17 awards from Midwest Gaming & Travel's annual Reader's Choice poll -- including the top honors of "Best Casino" statewide in each.

Ameristar Casino St. Charles, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASCA - News), brings the finest gaming and entertainment to the banks of the Missouri River, serving the entire metropolitan St. Louis area from its convenient location just north of the Interstate Highway 70 bridge near historic downtown St. Charles, Missouri. Established in 1994 as the first gaming facility in Missouri, the new Ameristar boasts a cobblestone streetscape inspired by the 1880s architecture of the St. Charles River Port District with seven dining and entertainment venues. The streetscape adjoins an all-new 130,000 square foot casino vessel offering the largest selection of gaming options in the region, including 3,300 slot and video poker machines, 95 table games and one of the last two remaining live poker rooms in the market.

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