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Ontario Casinos Take Big Hit

19 January 2004

ONTARIO – As reported by the Buffalo Business First: "Hospitality and tourism factors in the Niagara region of southern Ontario were a bit unlucky for two gaming operations.

"Based on second quarter statistics compiled by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., attendance and revenues at both Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls and slot machine operations at Fort Erie Racetrack were off, in some cases by as much as 28 percent.

"…For the second quarter, ended Sept. 30, Casino Niagara took in $135.93 million (US$104.478 million), down from $168.43 million for the same period in its 2002-03 fiscal year, a drop of 19.2 percent. Through the first half of its 2003-04 fiscal year, Casino Niagara took in $265.55 million (US$204.106 million) in gaming revenues, down 19.3 percent from the $329.23 million in the same period last year.

"…Gaming revenues at the Fort Erie slot machine operations were down 28.5 percent in the second quarter, dropping from $45.33 million (US$34.84 million) last year to $32.4 million this year. For the first half of the year, gaming revenues were off 26 percent, from $90.37 million in 2002-03 to $66.9 million (US$51.42 million) this year.

"…The OLGC acknowledges the gambling business fell victim to larger issues in the tourism industry and other factors unique to the province such as SARS-related concerns…"

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