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Ameristar Collects Signature for Referendum

9 July 2004

IOWA – As reported by the Des Moines Register: "Ameristar Casinos has begun collecting signatures needed to call for a referendum in November to allow a new riverboat casino in Des Moines.

"Here's the Las Vegas company's plan, being shopped to city and county leaders:

" -The company would build a $200 million hotel-casino complex and take over management of Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona.

"…- The city could receive $7 million a year from taxes and admission fees if a new casino were built. Des Moines schools would get $3 million. More than $10 million would be earmarked for 'community betterment' - $6.7 million more than such charities and civic groups currently receive from Prairie Meadows.

"-The company would lend Prairie Meadows $60 million for an expansion. Track officials have discussed a potential $110 million expansion to add up to 60 table games.

"Ameristar says it can double the Des Moines gambling market's gross revenue to $350 million.

"…Ameristar's plan is ambitious. It not only requires a vote of the public and permission from state regulators, it also would require approval by the city of Des Moines, Polk County supervisors and the operators of Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino - all of which have long had different agendas and ambitions…"

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