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Ameristar vague with expansion plans

21 March 2007

IOWA – As reported by the Nonpareil News: "It's been just more than a year since Horseshoe Casino's $84 million expansion was completed, turning the old Bluffs Run Casino with its slot machines into a full-blown, land-based operation featuring table games in its 68,000 square feet of gaming space.

"Since then, Horseshoe has passed long-time market leader Ameristar Casino as the city's top-grossing casino and now tops the state in gross gaming receipts. It has seemed inevitable that a counter move was coming; but Ameristar has refused to reveal its hand, even after purchasing nine acres of land just south of the casino from farm product wholesaler Agrilliance in September 2005.

"Ameristar management has previously declined to comment on any expansion plans, other than to casually mention that something could happen, and the nine acres purchased in 2005 will provide truck and RV parking. Christie Scott, public relations manager for Ameristar, released a statement Tuesday addressing future expansion.

"…Ameristar has remained a strong second or third in the state's revenue rankings of casinos, with the newly remodeled Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona sometimes sandwiched between it and the Horseshoe; but gross receipts are down from the previous year for the Horseshoe's sister property, Harrah's Casino…"

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