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Barona Casino Signs $1.5 Million Deal with Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

15 July 2002

SAN DIEGO, California --(Press Release)-- Barona Casino (Barona) announced today it has teamed with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) as a major sponsor of the Del Mar racing season beginning this year through 2004.

The three-year sponsorship, valued at more than $1.5 million, is the largest in DMTC history and is also considered one of the largest sponsorships ever of a single racetrack entity in the United States.

Barona will be prominently positioned as a leading Del Mar Season sponsor for the next three years and headline several of the racing season's most anticipated events, including the $50,000 Opening Day Barona Bonus, Opening Day Hat Contest, Cap Giveaway Day, Club Barona Thursdays, Pacific Classic Golf Tournament, Handicapping Contest and Barona Trophies -- presented to the season's leading owner, trainer and jockey during the closing-day festivities.

"Barona Casino is proud to be a major sponsor of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club," said Clifford La Chappa, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. "This partnership involves two of San Diego's great gaming traditions uniting to help boost the local economy through increased promotion of the region as Southern California's foremost summer travel and entertainment destination."

A recent University of San Diego School of Business economic study estimated the DMTC's impact on San Diego County at nearly $90 million in annual spending. The racetrack attracts 650,000 visitors from late July through mid September and employs more than 3,300 people. Occupancy rates at North County hotels also jump from an annual average of approximately 70 percent to more than 86 percent, with many hotels exceeding 90 percent.

"Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is very pleased to team with Barona Casino in developing a truly unique marketing alliance," said DMTC President & General Manager, Joe Harper. "This promises to be a win-win situation for loyal racing and gaming enthusiasts, as well as the thousands of vacationers who make Del Mar Thoroughbred Club a 'must-see' stop on their San Diego summer vacation itinerary."

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is a non-dividend paying corporation. Its Board of Directors includes notable California Thoroughbred owners and breeders as well as community leaders. Directors serve without remuneration and all profits generated by racing at Del Mar are utilized for improvements to Del Mar's racing facilities and fairground facilities. For news and events regarding Del Mar Season 2002, visit the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club website or call 858/755-1141.

The Barona Band of Mission Indians has lived in Southern California for over 5,000 years and the Barona Indian Reservation since 1932. The Tribe was once a nomadic band that traveled across Southern California in tune with the seasons and what nature provided. It is now a sovereign government operating one of the most successful casinos in California.

In early 2003, the Tribe will unveil the $260 million Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino expansion. The project includes a world-class resort with 400 guest rooms and suites, 300,000 square foot casino, a five-level "smart" parking garage, and the 18-hole championship Barona Creek Golf Club, which was recently rated the 4th best course in the state of California by Golfweek Magazine. For more information, visit the Barona Casino website.

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