Argosy Gaming Company Signs Agreement to Acquire The Empress Casino Joliet

Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Argosy Gaming Company

    ALTON, Ill., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Argosy Gaming Company (NYSE:   AGY)
 today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the stock of the
 Empress Casino and Hotel located in Joliet, Illinois from Horseshoe Gaming
 Holding Corporation.  Under the terms of the agreement, the Company agreed to
 pay $465 million.  The Company also stated that it has received a financing
 commitment from Wells Fargo to fund the acquisition.  The transaction is
 subject to customary conditions precedent, including approvals under the Hart
 Scott Rodino Act and from the Illinois Gaming Board.  Argosy anticipates
 closing the transaction, subject to receiving all required approvals, in the
 third quarter of 2001.
     The Company said that this acquisition meets all of the strategic goals it
 recently laid out in its 2000 Annual Report which included targeting
 operations that generate significant cash flow and increasing EBITDA to
 greater than $200 million by the end of 2001.  "This opportunity reinforces
 our commitment to grow the Company, provide greater diversification of cash
 flows, and to further maximize value for our shareholders," commented James B.
 Perry, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "We are excited about the
 opportunity to expand our presence in Illinois, where we received our first
 gaming license in 1991 and look forward to operating in the Chicago market,
 one of the strongest gaming markets in the country."  Perry then said, "The
 Empress has a dedicated and talented group of employees who will be a welcome
 addition to the Argosy family."
     Horseshoe Gaming Officials said today that they are pleased to have
 reached an agreement for the sale of the Empress Casino Joliet with another
 Illinois-based company and look forward to a smooth transition.
     Argosy is a leading multi-jurisdictional owner and operator of riverboat
 casinos and related entertainment and hotel facilities in the midwestern and
 southern United States.  Argosy, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates
 the Alton Belle Casino in Alton, Illinois, serving the St. Louis metropolitan
 market; the Argosy Casino in Riverside, Missouri, serving the greater Kansas
 City metropolitan market; the Argosy Casino-Baton Rouge in Louisiana; the
 Belle of Sioux City in Iowa; and the Argosy Casino & Hotel in Lawrenceburg,
 Indiana, serving the Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan markets.  Argosy was
 named the "Company of the Year" at the Gaming Industry Annual Awards ceremony
 in October 2000.
     This press release contains statements relating to future results, which
 are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements
 generally can be identified by phrases such as the Company or its management
 "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "forecasts," "estimates," "foresees," or
 other words or phrases of similar import.  Similarly, such statements herein
 that describe the Company's business outlook, objectives, strategy, intentions
 or goals are also forward-looking statements.  All such forward-looking
 statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause
 actual results to differ materially from those projected, including but not
 limited to, competitive and general economic conditions in the markets in
 which the Company operates, the effect of future legislation or regulatory
 changes on the Company's operations, the ability of the Company to finance the
 acquisition on attractive terms, approvals of the transaction contemplated by
 the various gaming boards and commissions that regulate the Company, approval
 of other regulatory and governmental agencies to which the contemplated
 transaction is subject, as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from
 time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
 
 

SOURCE Argosy Gaming Company
    ALTON, Ill., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Argosy Gaming Company (NYSE:   AGY)
 today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the stock of the
 Empress Casino and Hotel located in Joliet, Illinois from Horseshoe Gaming
 Holding Corporation.  Under the terms of the agreement, the Company agreed to
 pay $465 million.  The Company also stated that it has received a financing
 commitment from Wells Fargo to fund the acquisition.  The transaction is
 subject to customary conditions precedent, including approvals under the Hart
 Scott Rodino Act and from the Illinois Gaming Board.  Argosy anticipates
 closing the transaction, subject to receiving all required approvals, in the
 third quarter of 2001.
     The Company said that this acquisition meets all of the strategic goals it
 recently laid out in its 2000 Annual Report which included targeting
 operations that generate significant cash flow and increasing EBITDA to
 greater than $200 million by the end of 2001.  "This opportunity reinforces
 our commitment to grow the Company, provide greater diversification of cash
 flows, and to further maximize value for our shareholders," commented James B.
 Perry, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "We are excited about the
 opportunity to expand our presence in Illinois, where we received our first
 gaming license in 1991 and look forward to operating in the Chicago market,
 one of the strongest gaming markets in the country."  Perry then said, "The
 Empress has a dedicated and talented group of employees who will be a welcome
 addition to the Argosy family."
     Horseshoe Gaming Officials said today that they are pleased to have
 reached an agreement for the sale of the Empress Casino Joliet with another
 Illinois-based company and look forward to a smooth transition.
     Argosy is a leading multi-jurisdictional owner and operator of riverboat
 casinos and related entertainment and hotel facilities in the midwestern and
 southern United States.  Argosy, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates
 the Alton Belle Casino in Alton, Illinois, serving the St. Louis metropolitan
 market; the Argosy Casino in Riverside, Missouri, serving the greater Kansas
 City metropolitan market; the Argosy Casino-Baton Rouge in Louisiana; the
 Belle of Sioux City in Iowa; and the Argosy Casino & Hotel in Lawrenceburg,
 Indiana, serving the Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan markets.  Argosy was
 named the "Company of the Year" at the Gaming Industry Annual Awards ceremony
 in October 2000.
     This press release contains statements relating to future results, which
 are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements
 generally can be identified by phrases such as the Company or its management
 "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "forecasts," "estimates," "foresees," or
 other words or phrases of similar import.  Similarly, such statements herein
 that describe the Company's business outlook, objectives, strategy, intentions
 or goals are also forward-looking statements.  All such forward-looking
 statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause
 actual results to differ materially from those projected, including but not
 limited to, competitive and general economic conditions in the markets in
 which the Company operates, the effect of future legislation or regulatory
 changes on the Company's operations, the ability of the Company to finance the
 acquisition on attractive terms, approvals of the transaction contemplated by
 the various gaming boards and commissions that regulate the Company, approval
 of other regulatory and governmental agencies to which the contemplated
 transaction is subject, as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from
 time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
 
 SOURCE  Argosy Gaming Company