SOURCE: Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

January 19, 2010 15:03 ET

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. and The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Gifts to Benefit Injured Earthquake Victims

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - January 19, 2010) - Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASCA) and The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, today announced contributions totaling $50,000 to aid victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The donations are being made to the University of Miami's Global Institute's relief efforts in Haiti. The Global Institute aims to mobilize global collaborations in the pursuit of health and prosperity.

The Global Institute was co-founded by Dr. Barth Green, co-founder and Chairman of the University's Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which Ameristar has supported since 2005. Dr. Green and the first team of doctors were in Haiti within 24 hours of the earthquake. Since then, they have sent more than 100 doctors and nurses to support the medical relief efforts with more joining the efforts daily. The medical teams are working on the vast range of injuries, including amputations and spinal cord injuries resulting from falling debris.

"Ameristar is proud to make this donation on behalf of its more than 7,000 team members company-wide. Many of our team members have been directly impacted by this tragedy," said Gordon R. Kanofsky, Ameristar's Chief Executive Officer and co-trustee of The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. "As our charitable giving focus is on helping those who have suffered spinal cord injuries, we can think of no better way to assist in the "healing" than by partnering on our team members' behalf with an internationally recognized organization like the Miami Project and the University of Miami's Global Initiative."

Ameristar's late founder, Craig H. Neilsen, lived the last 21 years of his life as a quadriplegic. Mr. Neilsen established The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to fund research, rehabilitation and quality-of-life programs for people living with spinal cord injuries. "This donation by the Neilsen Foundation to aid injured victims of the Haiti earthquake is clearly in line with my father's wishes for his Foundation, and I am confident it will make a positive difference in the quality of the lives of those affected," said Ray H. Neilsen, co-trustee of the Neilsen Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Ameristar.

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. is a leading Las Vegas-based gaming and entertainment company known for its premier properties characterized by innovative architecture, state-of-the-art casino floors and superior dining, lodging and entertainment offerings. Ameristar's focus on the total entertainment experience and the highest-quality guest service has earned it leading positions in the markets in which it operates. Founded in 1954 in Jackpot, Nev., Ameristar has been a public company since November 1993. The Company has a portfolio of eight casinos in seven markets: Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles (greater St. Louis); Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago (Chicagoland area); Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City; Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs (Omaha, Neb., and southwestern Iowa); Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg (Jackson, Miss., and Monroe, La.); Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk (Denver metropolitan area); and Cactus Petes Resort Casino and The Horseshu Hotel and Casino in Jackpot, Nev. (Idaho and the Pacific Northwest).

Visit Ameristar Casinos' web site at (which shall not be deemed to be incorporated in or a part of this news release).

Established in 2002, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to supporting cutting-edge research and innovative rehabilitation programs to improve the quality of life for those living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Mr. Neilsen, himself a quadriplegic for 21 years until his death in 2006, recruited experts in the SCI community to peer review all grants requests for scientific and clinical research, post-doctoral fellowships and quality of life program grants. In addition to other charitable distributions, the Foundation currently funds approximately $5 million annually in scientific research grants and approximately $1.5 million annually in quality-of-life programmatic grants which are disbursed throughout the United States and Canada.

Visit The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation's web site at