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Kickapoo Casino Close to Opening

6 July 2004

EAGLE PASS, Texas – As reported by the San Antonio Express-News: "The casino rugs near the slot machines are marred with chewing gum, the restroom floors are cracked and during heat waves the central air-conditioning system needs a boost from a huge portable unit.

"Eight years after it opened, the Kickapoo Indians' modest Lucky Eagle Casino is overdue for retirement. Designed to last only a few years, the low-slung, modular building is about to be replaced by a $15 million stone-and-steel structure next door.

"…After going through four general contractors in four years amid upheaval caused by a tribal change of government almost two years ago and still threatened by possible state-sanctioned expansion of video gambling, the new casino is slated to open this summer.

"Although a gambler with a contractor's eye might bet against it, tribal officials promise a 'soft opening' by early September at the latest. But much of the interior remains unfinished.

"…The new 110,000-square-foot facility will more than double the gaming floor space, to about 45,000 square feet, and will offer more than twice the number of slots, [Kendall Scott, the tribe's marketing director] said.

"…Although tribal officials declined to discuss financial projections for the new casino, it is expected to generate more than double the $25 million gross revenue reported by the existing Lucky Eagle.

"The expansion comes as the 500-member tribe is battling the state on two gambling issues…"

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