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Argosy Benefits from Vegas Travel Woes

21 January 2002

ALTON, Illinois – Jan. 21, 2002 – Argosy Gaming Co., an owner of riverboat casinos in St. Louis and other markets, said its fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts' estimates as gamblers wary of flying to Las Vegas chose regional casinos.

Alton, Ill.-based Argosy earned 67 cents to 70 cents a share in the fourth quarter, above the 56-cent average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call, Argosy said.

Riverboat and regional casinos have reported higher revenue growth after the September attacks fueled fear of flying. Casino revenue rose 21 percent in Missouri and 26 percent in Iowa in December from a year earlier, analysts say. Argosy owns casinos in both markets.

"A lot of people who would have gone to a destination market stayed at home this year over the holidays as compared to years past," Treasurer Dan Marshall said. "It was kind of like all these planets aligning."

Argosy also benefited from mild weather in the Midwest and the timing of Christmas and the New Year, which created two four-day weekends in December, Marshall said.

The company will release earnings Jan. 29.

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