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Argosy Gaming Agrees to Acquire Empress Casino Joliet from Horseshoe

16 April 2001

ALTON, Illinois –- (Press Release) -- Argosy Gaming Company (NYSE: AGY) today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the stock of the Empress Casino and Hotel located in Joliet, Illinois from Horseshoe Gaming Holding Corporation.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Company agreed to pay $465 million. The Company also stated that it has received a financing commitment from Wells Fargo to fund the acquisition. The transaction is subject to customary conditions precedent, including approvals under the Hart Scott Rodino Act and from the Illinois Gaming Board. Argosy anticipates closing the transaction, subject to receiving all required approvals, in the third quarter of 2001.

The Company said that this acquisition meets all of the strategic goals it recently laid out in its 2000 Annual Report which included targeting operations that generate significant cash flow and increasing EBITDA to greater than $200 million by the end of 2001. ``This opportunity reinforces our commitment to grow the Company, provide greater diversification of cash flows, and to further maximize value for our shareholders,'' commented James B. Perry, President and Chief Executive Officer. ``We are excited about the opportunity to expand our presence in Illinois, where we received our first gaming license in 1991 and look forward to operating in the Chicago market, one of the strongest gaming markets in the country.'' Perry then said, ``The Empress has a dedicated and talented group of employees who will be a welcome addition to the Argosy family.''

Horseshoe Gaming Officials said today that they are pleased to have reached an agreement for the sale of the Empress Casino Joliet with another Illinois-based company and look forward to a smooth transition.

Argosy is a leading multi-jurisdictional owner and operator of riverboat casinos and related entertainment and hotel facilities in the midwestern and southern United States. Argosy, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the Alton Belle Casino in Alton, Illinois, serving the St. Louis metropolitan market; the Argosy Casino in Riverside, Missouri, serving the greater Kansas City metropolitan market; the Argosy Casino-Baton Rouge in Louisiana; the Belle of Sioux City in Iowa; and the Argosy Casino & Hotel in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, serving the Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan markets. Argosy was named the ``Company of the Year'' at the Gaming Industry Annual Awards ceremony in October 2000.

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