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Arizona Blackjack Gamble Paying Off

10 March 2003

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "There's a lot of dealin', hittin' and splittin' going on at Arizona Indian casinos.

"Nevada-style blackjack is proving to be an ace attraction, operators are reporting after the game's first month in play.

"`It's definitely increased the traffic in the casino dramatically,' said Doug Lentz, chief executive officer at Tucson's Casino Del Sol, which opened 20 tables on Feb. 25.

"Casino Del Sol saw business boom the first weekend it offered blackjack, beating levels on New Year's Eve, typically the casino industry's busiest period.

"…Other casino bosses are reporting similar results with blackjack, which debuted Feb. 5 at Casino Arizona and Fort McDowell Casino, Feb. 15 at Harrah's Ak-Chin and Feb. 28 at Mazatzal.

"More are due to join the club, including Del Sol's sister property, Casino of the Sun, in mid-April. Cliff Castle in Camp Verde is expected to be next, opening eight blackjack tables the middle of this month.

"…While blackjack's novelty is fueling some of the rush, Lentz believes its popularity could increase with a rule adjustment. His concern: a gambling-agreement appendix requiring the games to use three to eight decks of cards and automatic or continuous shuffling devices.

"…The state allows bets of up to $500 per hand. Casino Del Sol sets its maximum at $100 and offers one table with a $3 minimum, as does Mazatzal. Harrah's and Casino Arizona run $5 to $500…"

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