SOURCE: Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

June 21, 2012 12:02 ET

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Approves Acquisition by Ameristar Casinos of Equity Interests in Creative Casinos of Louisiana, L.L.C.

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - Jun 21, 2012) - Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASCA) announced today that the Louisiana Gaming Control Board has approved the transfer of the membership interests in Creative Casinos of Louisiana, L.L.C. to Ameristar. The closing of the transfer of ownership is expected to occur in July 2012. Creative is the developer of a proposed luxury casino resort in Lake Charles, La. This is the last remaining riverboat gaming license available in Louisiana under current law.

Ameristar intends to commence construction during the week of July 16, 2012, prior to the July 20 deadline under the license conditions approved by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. The license conditions also require completion of the project within two years following the commencement of construction.

Ameristar has increased the project scope from Creative's design, and as currently planned, Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Lake Charles will include a casino with approximately 1,600 slot machines and 60 table games, a hotel with approximately 700 guest rooms (including 70 suites), a variety of food and beverage outlets, an 18-hole golf course, a tennis club, swimming pools, a spa and other resort amenities, and approximately 3,000 parking spaces, 1,000 of which will be in a garage. The resort will be developed on a 242-acre leased site.

The license conditions require a minimum investment in the project of $500 million. A budget for the project is in progress. Ameristar expects to finance the project approximately one-half from future operating cash flow and one-half from borrowings under its revolving credit facility, which currently has $496 million of undrawn availability.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to develop a best-in-class casino resort in an additional gaming jurisdiction, and to further diversify our operations," said Gordon Kanofsky, Ameristar's Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to building a premier property that will further distinguish Lake Charles as a true resort destination serving southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas, including the Houston metropolitan area."

Forward-Looking Information

This release contains certain forward-looking information that generally can be identified by the context of the statement or the use of forward-looking terminology, such as "believes," "estimates," "anticipates," "intends," "expects," "plans," "is confident that," "will," "would," "should," "could" or words of similar meaning, with reference to Ameristar or our management. Similarly, statements that describe our future plans, objectives, strategies, financial results or position, operational expectations or goals are forward-looking statements. It is possible that our expectations may not be met due to various factors, many of which are beyond our control, and we therefore cannot give any assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. For a discussion of relevant factors, risks and uncertainties that could materially affect our future results, attention is directed to "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and "Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

About Ameristar

Ameristar Casinos is an innovative casino gaming company featuring the newest and most popular slot machines. Our 7,500 dedicated team members pride themselves on delivering consistently friendly and appreciative service to our guests. We continuously strive to increase the loyalty of our guests through the quality of our slot machines, table games, hotel, dining and other leisure offerings. Our eight casino hotel properties primarily serve guests from Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Nevada. We have been a public company since 1993, and our stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. We generate more than $1 billion in net revenues annually.

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

Contact Information

    Tom Steinbauer
    Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
    Ameristar Casinos, Inc.