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Analysts: Looser Gambling Restrictions Unlikely, Slot Sales Down

4 April 2002

NEW YORK – As reported by the Dow Jones -- Shares of gambling machine makers took a hit Wednesday after an analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. warned about diminishing chances for a number of states to loosen their restrictions on gambling, thus dampening the prospects for more slot machine sales.

"Analyst David Anders' caution comes after the demise of highly anticipated gaming bill in Kentucky. Tuesday, the Kentucky legislative session ended without passage of a bill that would have legalized gaming devices at the state's racetracks.

"…Kentucky's news bodes poorly for the passage of similar bills in other states including Pennsylvania and Kansas, whose legislative terms are still in session, Anders added.

"Other states -- including Maryland, Florida and Indiana -- that had considered relaxing laws or expanding forms of gambling to shore up their budgets in a drooping economy have already defeated proposed measures.

"…The analyst explained that his previous anticipation for loosened laws and thus new casino openings had led him to upgrade the International Game stock to strong buy in November.

"…Anders now expects the International Game stock to reach $68 in the next 12 months, down from his previous target of $80.

"…New York Stock Exchange listed International Game's shares closed Wednesday at $58.13, down $3.02, or 4.9 percent.

"Penn National Gaming Inc. shares ended at $34.59, down 42 cents, or 1.2 percent on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

"NYSE-listed Gtech Holdings Corp. closed at $46.80, down $1.02 or 2 percent, while Argosy Gaming Co. was at $35.30, down 45 cents, or 1.3 percent, also on the Big Board…"

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