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Argosy Could Join Remodeling Frenzy

10 July 2000

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – July 10, 2000 – As reported by The Kansas City Star: "They may be handing out construction zone hard hats soon to Kansas City's riverboat gamblers.

"The Argosy Riverside Casino is the latest to join the expansion and remodeling craze already under way at Harrah's North Kansas City Casino & Hotel and the Flamingo Hilton.

"Late last week, Argosy Gaming Co. directors gave tentative approval to a $60 million project that would replace the Argosy IV riverboat with a one-deck floating barge much like Harrah's Mardi Gras.

"…One unresolved concern is Riverside's long-range plans for the surrounding area. It's not too late, she said, for city officials to reshape that slowly emerging warehouse and industrial district into a more people-friendly neighborhood with retail shopping and other attractions.

"If that happens, [Argosy Vice President Virginia] McDowell said an Argosy hotel also would be more likely, along with other visitor amenities.

"…At the industry's urging, Missouri's unique restrictions on gambling have gradually been relaxed in recent years. But a backlash appears to be in the making next year, with the state's $500 loss-limit rule a battleground.

"…Today, casino vaults are bulging with around $44 million a month. Argosy's slice of that pie has been as hefty as $8.5 million.

"…In an unfettered free market -- open doors and no betting limits -- the experts also guessed that Kansas City gamblers might lose $600 million a year, or more.

"Meanwhile, Harrah's is adding an upstairs gambling deck to the Mardi Gras. The Flamingo, bought last month by Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., is getting a $15 million cosmetic makeover inside and out..."

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