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Argosy Receives Approval for Illinois Barge-Based Casino

10 October 2002

ALTON, Illinois – (Press Release) -- Argosy Gaming Company (NYSE: AGY) announced today that on October 9, 2002, the Illinois Gaming Board unanimously voted to approve the barge-based casino renovation project for its Empress Casino in Joliet, Illinois. Argosy will replace its existing two boats with a total of five levels of gaming space with a two-level barge facility that the Company recently purchased. The barge will be completely renovated and will offer approximately 50,000 square feet of gaming space, plus an additional 15,000 square feet slated for a party room and a player's lounge. The project is targeted to open the end of the first quarter of 2003 and will cost approximately $40 million.

James B. Perry, Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Customers in the Chicago market and elsewhere have indicated a clear preference for barge-based casinos, and this facility will enable us to provide our guests with an excellent gaming experience."

Argosy is a leading owner and operator of riverboat casinos and related entertainment and hotel facilities in the Midwestern and southern United States. Argosy owns and operates the Alton Belle Casino in Alton, Illinois, serving the St. Louis metropolitan market; the Argosy Casino-Riverside in Missouri, serving the greater Kansas City metropolitan market; the Argosy Casino-Baton Rouge in Louisiana; the Belle of Sioux City in Iowa; the Argosy Casino-Lawrenceburg in Indiana, serving the Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan markets; and the Empress Casino Joliet in Illinois serving the greater Chicagoland market.

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