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Argosy's Minority Vendor Effort Falls Short

20 March 2002

LOUISIANA – As reported by the Louisiana Advocate: "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 of food, drinks and other nongambling goods to minority-controlled firms.

"But in the past year, Argosy officials have made only 1 to 2 percent of their purchases from minority firms.

"Gaming Control Board member Rupert Richardson, a past chairwoman of the state and national NAACP, raised the issue Tuesday during consideration of a five-year renewal of Argosy's riverboat gambling license.

"…Gayle Carnahan, Argosy's director of governmental relations and community affairs, said the Baton Rouge riverboat was running close to its 15 percent goal before signing a deal for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide to run the Sheraton Hotel in Catfish Town.

"…In the two years before Argosy turned over the atrium restaurant to the hotel, the riverboat made 13 to 16 percent of its purchases from minority firms, Carnahan said.

"Carnahan said Argosy already has revised its purchasing procedures to try to include the involvement of a minority vendor in all major purchases…"

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