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Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs Earns Renewal Of Prestigious Four Diamond Award

18 March 2002

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa –(Press Release) -- For the fourth consecutive year,>Ameristar Casino Hotel has earned the American Automobile Association (AAA) coveted Four Diamond Award. Ameristar's Iowa operation is the only riverboat facility in the nation and one of only three hotels in Iowa to have achieved this prestigious designation.

``AAA Four Diamond Award winners such as Ameristar Casino Hotel are upscale in all areas, reflecting an enhanced level of quality throughout. The fundamental hallmarks at this level include an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail,'' explains Jake Crandall, president and Chief Executive Officer of AAA Minnesota/Iowa.

By renewing the Four Diamond rating, Ameristar remains part of an elite circle within the hospitality industry. Throughout each year, AAA's tourism editors visit more than 90,000 lodgings, campgrounds, restaurants and attractions performing unannounced evaluations. Less than three percent of the estimated 27,400 AAA-rated hotels and motels attain the Four Diamond excellence level.

In order to achieve Four Diamond status, a business must undergo a rigorous physical inspection that encompasses the areas of exterior and grounds, public areas, room decor and ambiance, guest room amenities, bathrooms, housekeeping, property operations and guest services. Participating establishments are then compared to rating criteria and given Diamond status. Four Diamond properties are considered excellent, and reflect an exceptional degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail.

AAA is a not-for-profit federation of clubs serving more than 45 million members throughout the United States and Canada. Among the organization's primary services is a customized inspection process that evaluates hotel properties, restaurants, campgrounds and tourist attractions for quality award ratings. AAA has included lodging information in its travel publications since the early 1900s. The association began rating hotels and other accommodations in 1963, adopting the current diamond rating system in 1977. The diamond ratings represent the overall quality of a property, and help people in choosing lodgings that meet their needs and expectations.

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASCA) is an innovative, Las Vegas-based gaming entertainment company known for its distinctive, quality conscious hotel casinos, and value orientation. Led by President and Chief Executive Officer Craig H. Neilsen, the organization's roots go back nearly five decades to a tiny roadside casino in the high plateau country that borders Idaho and Nevada. Publicly held since November 1993, the corporation owns and operates six properties in Nevada, Missouri, Iowa and Mississippi, two of which carry the prestigious American Automobile Association's Four Diamond designation. Ameristar's Common Stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol: ASCA.

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