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Columbia Sussex Faces Challenges in Missouri

5 June 2006

EAST ST. LOUIS, Missouri – As reported by the Belleville News-Democrat: "Bill Jung's past problems with Missouri gambling regulators could jinx his efforts to buy the Casino Queen, according to one gambling foe.

"Jung is the chairman of Columbia Sussex Corp., of Fort Mitchell, Ky., a fast-growing casino and hotel chain that last month agreed to buy the Casino Queen for $200 million from the five families that have owned it since it opened in 1993.

"The deal for the gambling vessel, which last year posted revenues of nearly $170 million, hinges on the approval of the Illinois Gaming Board. In the view of one prominent gambling opponent, that's going to be a tough sell.

"Why?

"Because last year, Columbia Sussex withdrew its application to acquire a casino license in Missouri for the bankrupt President Casino on the St. Louis riverfront.

"Columbia Sussex pulled out after the Missouri Gaming Commission indicated it would reject the application reportedly because of an IRS audit of Jung's income taxes and his use of a corporate credit card for personal expenses, according to creditors' statements filed in the President Casino's bankruptcy. Jung was out of the country last week and his chief spokesman did not return calls.

"…The problems Columbia Sussex faced in Missouri represent a rare bump in the road for the casino company, which has embarked on a $4.5 billion spending spree during the past two years, making it the largest privately held casino outfit in the country…"

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