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A Sticky Situation

22 December 1998

Coastal Gaming Group Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Boca Casino Cruises Inc., operator of the cruise ship Monte Carlo, seeking compensatory and punitive damages resulting from the cessation of operations brought about by a raid on the ship by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

The gaming operations aboard the Monte Carlo were halted and the equipment and assets were seized after state and county law enforcement agencies alleged the ship was opening and closing its gaming operations within the U.S. three-mile territorial limit.

Coastal Gaming maintains that the ship's operator is solely responsible for determining the location of the ship and the timing for opening and closing the Casino. "(Boca Casino Cruises)...deliberately, intentionally and with gross misconduct breached the terms of the contract, " by deliberately telling the Coastal staff the erroneous location of the vessel, Coastal Gaming claims in its lawsuit.

Coastal claims that, due to negligence on the part of Boca Casino Cruises, Coastal was forced to enter into a settlement agreement with the State of Florida and pay in excess of $200,000.

"This event is very embarrassing and may permanently harm the reputation of Coastal Gaming in the gaming industry," said President of Coastal Gaming Inc. President Buddy Levy. "We've worked very hard to build a reputation for high-quality service to our clients and the players we serve. We immediately terminated our agreement with Boca Casino Cruises and have no intention of working with that organization in the future."

Levy said the state's affidavits relating to the charges against Monte Carlo note that the only reason for the seizure of the vessel and the assets of Coastal was the operation of the vessel while within U.S. territorial waters. "There were no other violations of regulations or illegal activities relating to the gaming operations," Levy added, "despite what was reported in the media as quotes from local law enforcement officials."

vCoastal Gaming Group Inc. is based in Tampa and provides casino management, consulting and operating services to cruise ships.

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