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Argosy Minority Dealings Increase

22 September 2002

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- As reported by the Advocate "Argosy Casino officials said Tuesday that they are making progress in their attempts to do more business with minority-owned firms.

``Representatives of the Baton Rouge casino said a new arrangement with the neighboring Sheraton Hotel should dramatically bolster their purchases of food, drinks and other nongambling goods from minority-controlled companies.

``...When Argosy Casino first obtained a gambling license in the early 1990s, developers of the Baton Rouge riverboat promised to try and steer at least 15 percent of its purchases to minority businesses. But in renewing Argosy's gambling license in March, the state Gaming Control Board expressed displeasure at the fact that the riverboat purchased only 1 percent to 2 percent of their nongambling goods from minority firms during the previous year.

``The board renewed Argosy's license on the condition that the boat submit a plan with goals and timetables to improve its minority purchases.

``In the two years before Argosy turned over the atrium restaurant to the hotel, the riverboat made 13 percent to 16 percent of its purchases from minority firms, according to Gayle Carnahan, Argosy's director of governmental relations and community affairs.

```We think we're pretty much on track to reach our goal of 15 percent by next year,' Carnahan said..."

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