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Alton Casino Revenue Drop Impacts City Budget

16 August 2004

ALTON, Illinois – As reported by the Associated Press:"A downturn in revenue at Alton Belle Casino has left city officials with fewer dollars to spend.

"Since Alton Belle opened in 1991 as the state's first floating casino, the operation has injected $83.1 million from gambling revenues into the coffers of this southern Illinois city. Alton gets $1 per admission and 5 percent of the casino's gross revenue.

"But revenues at the casino, which is owned by Alton-based Argosy Gaming Co., have been on the decline since March 2002. Revenue for the first half of this year was down 10 percent from a year earlier.

"That translates to a dwindling budget for this city of about 35,000, which relies on casino taxes for roughly 20 percent of its revenue. The city has seen its share of taxes from Alton Belle drop $1 million between 2001 and last year.

"Mayor Don Sandidge said the decline has forced the town to tighten its belt, including trimming 26 employees over the last year through attrition…"

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