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Another Blow for Emerald Casino Deal

27 July 2001

ROSEMONT, Illinois -- July 27, 2001 –As reported by the (Arlington Heights, Illinois) Daily Herald: "A high-stakes deal that Rosemont officials hoped would end several legal battles and finally bring a casino to town was dealt what could be a stunning setback Thursday when the Illinois Gaming Board dismissed Emerald Casino's buyout negotiations as `not acceptable.'

"The regulatory body's short but powerful statement came after Las Vegas heavyweight MGM Mirage Inc. emerged Thursday as the frontrunner to buy out the embattled majority owners of Emerald.

"The potential sale was seen as a compromise solution to revive the casino plan for Rosemont - a project rejected by the gaming board in January because, in part, of alleged lies told to the board by Emerald CEO Kevin Flynn, the casino's largest shareholder.

"The new developments in the ever evolving Emerald saga now mean the casino's license - the only unused one left in the state - could be stuck in a legal quagmire for months, if not years.

"Thursday began with the publicly owned MGM Mirage, the owner of a stable of Vegas casinos, filing documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission saying it had signed a deal with Emerald that gave it exclusive rights over the next 30 days to negotiate with the Flynn family, which owns 52 percent of Emerald.

"…But not long after, the gaming board issued a rare statement indicating it was not happy about the buyout negotiations and planned to continue its ongoing process to revoke Emerald's license.

"…Board officials declined to expand on what was considered unacceptable. But there has been talk that gaming board officials, still angered at the Flynns for the alleged lies told during the license application process, are miffed that the Flynns believe they are in the driver's seat and could walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars by selling a license that is under revocation proceedings.

"…MGM officials said they couldn't comment on the gaming board's statement and intended to go forward with their negotiations. If a deal is reached, they hope to go before the gaming board soon…"

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