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BIA Clarifies New York Tribal Agreement

18 March 2005

MONTICELLO, New York -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Empire Resorts, Inc. ("Empire") (NASDAQ: NYNY) announced today that it has received certain clarifications concerning the status of the settlement agreement between the Cayuga Nation of New York (the "Cayuga Nation") and the State of New York as well as its agreements with the Cayuga Nation.

Letters from the Regional Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the United States Department of the Interior (the "BIA") have given the BIA's current position on matters of tribal representation and status of the Agreement of Settlement and Compromise (the "Settlement Agreement") entered into by the Cayuga Nation to resolve certain claims against the State of New York. These clarifications indicate the view of the BIA that Mr. Clint C. Halftown's status as federal representative does not affect the Settlement Agreement.

The March 17th letters indicate that the Bureau's action in continuing to recognize Mr. Halftown should not be interpreted to affect the Cayuga Nation's land claim settlement with the State of New York. Noting that there might be some confusion, the Regional Director indicated that: "The scope of the Bureau's recognition of Mr. Halftown as the Cayuga Nation's representative does not extend to the Nation's dealings with any state or local government, other sovereign entities, corporations and other entities, or individuals."

Empire's CEO, Robert Berman, expressed appreciation for the clarifications. "There has been a lot of confusion here. The BIA's work to help clarify this matter has been constructive. Although their role is necessarily limited, they are making it clear that the Cayuga Nation Council has authority to move forward and properly implement the best interests of the Nation."

Empire presently has individual agreements with two different tribes -- the Cayuga Nation and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma -- for development and management by Empire of two, separate Native American gaming facilities in the Catskill Mountains. The agreements terminate in June 2005 and August 2005, respectively. Empire has previously announced plans to develop a $500 million "Class III" Native American casino and resort on a site adjacent to the Monticello Raceway with the Cayuga Nation. Empire has also announced plans to acquire two additional resort properties, the Concord and Grossinger's, in the Catskill's region in order to provide the Company with additional properties with which to pursue the five casino development opportunities in Sullivan County.

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