Thunderbird Resorts Inc.

Thunderbird Resorts Inc.

January 27, 2006 10:07 ET

NAFTA Tribunal Rejects Thunderbird's Claims Against Mexico

POWAY, CALIFORNIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 27, 2006) - Thunderbird Resorts, Inc. (CNQ:BIRD.U)(FWB:OSJ) announces:

Thunderbird submitted a NAFTA claim against Mexico in August 2002, contending that the regulation and closure of its gaming facilities by Secretaria De Gobernacion, the Mexican government agency that has jurisdiction over gaming activity and enforcement, breached Mexico's obligations under Chapter Eleven of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Thunderbird claimed that Mexico's regulation and closure of its skill game facilities violated the national treatment obligation; the most-favored-nation treatment obligation; the obligation to accord better treatment in accordance with international law; and the prohibition on expropriation.

The NAFTA tribunal rejected the Company's claims for damages sought as a result of the closure of its skill game facilities by Secretaria De Gobernacion. The NAFTA tribunal ruled that Mexico did not violate NAFTA in shutting down the Company's skill game and entertainment facilities. In addition, the NAFTA Tribunal awarded Mexico with approximately $1,250,000 in costs and attorney fees as a "prevailing party". Albert W. Atallah stated "it did so in spite of the dissenting arbitrator's assertion that such an award would be unprecedented."

Albert W. Atallah, General Counsel, commented that "the Company faces similar acts of unfairness by government officials in certain developing countries, but believed that NAFTA would 'level the playing field' in Mexico...clearly it did not as (the) same government that shut down the Thunderbird operations has granted permits to numerous Mexican operators with this exact type of machine." Mr. Atallah further contends that "given this background, there appears to be no fairness or 'teeth' to the NAFTA trade treaty that by this ruling allows Mexico operators to continue operating and dramatically expand these 'skill game establishments' while Mexico's enforcement agency shuts down the Thunderbird establishments." Finally, Mr. Atallah believes "(as) a practical matter, that the threat of an attorneys' fee award will close the door to claimants seeking justice in a NAFTA tribunal. Furthermore, (the) risk of costs and attorneys' fees to an unsuccessful claimant will have a chilling effect on various companies' rights to pursue a legitimate NAFTA remedy."

Jack R. Mitchell, President and CEO, commented that "the NAFTA decision will not deter the Company in its mission to be the most successful recreational property developer and operator in each of our markets."

International Thunderbird Gaming Corporation is an owner and manager of international gaming facilities. Additional information about the Company is available on its World Wide Web site at

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

Jack R. Mitchell, President and CEO

Cautionary Notice: This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the securities laws and regulations of various international, federal, and state jurisdictions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding potential revenue and future plans and objectives of the Company are forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties. There can be no assurances that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's forward-looking statements include competitive pressures, unfavorable changes in regulatory structures, and general risks associated with business, all of which are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the Company's documents filed from time-to-time with the CNQ and other regulatory authorities.

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