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BIA Endorses Cayuga Nation Plans for Catskills Casino

4 May 2004

MONTICELLO, New York -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Empire Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:NYNY) today acknowledged that it had received information concerning the Cayuga Nation of New York's (the "Nation") fee to trust application for gaming purposes. The company confirmed that this information is consistent with reports that the application has been recommended for approval by the Eastern Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA"). The proposed Cayuga Catskill Resort is to be developed and managed by Empire Resorts, Inc. and is to be located on approximately 30 acres of land adjacent to the Monticello Raceway, in Sullivan County New York -- just 90 minutes from New York City.

The BIA's findings include recommendations that the subject property be taken into trust for the benefit of the Cayuga Nation and that the development of a Native American gaming establishment at Monticello Raceway be found to be in the best interest of the Cayuga Nation, and would not be detrimental to the surrounding community. The application is still subject to further reviews in Washington prior to final approval by the Secretary of Interior. In addition, concurrence must be received from the Governor of the state of New York and a gaming compact must be executed between the Nation and the State of New York.

Empire Resorts, Inc (NASDAQ:NYNY) is involved in the operations and development of gaming activities in New York. It currently operates Monticello Raceway, a harness track in the Catskills area of New York, and is working to develop it into a multi-dimensional gaming resort, including horse racing, video lottery terminals and a Native American casino, to be known as the Cayuga Catskills Resort. The New York State Lottery has approved the raceway as a site for the installation of 1,800 VGM's. Construction is underway for these facilities, which are expected to open on June 30th, 2004. The Cayuga Nation of New York is currently seeking approval by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for its request to obtain a site adjacent to the Raceway for the Cayuga Catskills Resort.

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