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Aztar Reports Q2 Results

20 July 2005

PHOENIX, Arizona – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Aztar Corporation (NYSE: AZR) today reported financial results for its 2005 second quarter, which ended on June 30, 2005; the fiscal 2004 quarter had ended on July 1, 2004. Consolidated EBITDA was $54.2 million for the second quarter of 2005; in the 2004 second quarter, EBITDA was $46.7 million, including $3.4 million of construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses related to the 2003 construction accident on the site of the Tropicana Atlantic City expansion. Diluted earnings per share in the 2005 second quarter were 41 cents, which included three cents associated with other income and construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses, versus 25 cents in the 2004 quarter, which was after 15 cents associated with a loss on early retirement of debt and which included five cents attributable to construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses.

Our Casino Aztar riverboat properties in Indiana and Missouri continued their outstanding performance in the second quarter, together showing a 12% year-over-year increase in EBITDA. Tropicana Las Vegas reported a 6% increase in EBITDA on very strong room occupancy and average daily rate, while Ramada Express in Laughlin, Nevada, performed on a par with the year-earlier quarter. Tropicana Atlantic City continued to build momentum in its second full quarter since the opening of the expansion late last year and produced, excluding construction-accident-related items in both years, a year-over-year increase in EBITDA of 50%.

"During the second fiscal quarter, casino revenue at the Tropicana in Atlantic City grew 25%, significantly outpacing the market," said Robert M. Haddock, Aztar Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. "That level of revenue growth allowed the property to more than cover the incremental operating costs associated with the expansion and to deliver a 25% EBITDA margin. Looking forward, we believe that the expanded facilities at the Atlantic City Tropicana will permit us to continue to drive significant additional revenue growth and margin expansion."

Tropicana Atlantic City Expansion

The Tropicana Atlantic City expansion includes a new 502-room hotel tower; The Quarter at Tropicana, which is a 200,000-square-foot dining, entertainment and retail complex; a 2,400-space parking garage and 20,000 square feet of meeting and conference space.

Other Income

Other income consists of insurance recoveries for the rebuilding of the damaged portion of the Tropicana Atlantic City expansion after the construction accident that occurred on October 30, 2003, net of direct costs to obtain the recoveries.

Capital Expenditures

In the second quarter of 2005, purchases of property and equipment totaled $16 million. Approximately $13 million of the total was spent on routine expenditures, and $3 million went for development.

Year to Date Results

For the first half of 2005, the company reported EBITDA of $99.9 million compared with $93.4 million in the first half of 2004. Diluted earnings per share in the 2005 first half were 68 cents, which included six cents associated with other income and construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses and which is after five cents related to a loss on settlement of retirement plan benefits, versus 35 cents in the 2004 half, which is after 15 cents associated with a loss on early retirement of debt and 31 cents associated with an adverse court ruling regarding income taxes in Indiana and which included 12 cents of construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses.

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