Ameristar Casinos and The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Announces Over $250,000 In Katrina Relief Aid

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Ameristar Casinos, Inc.(NASDAQ:ASCA) and the private foundation of its Chairman and CEO, Craig H. Neilsen, are contributing more than $250,000 toward Hurricane Katrina relief. In addition, the Company will accept Team Member contributions for hurricane relief through its Workplace Giving Campaign, which it will match dollar for dollar.

Ameristar will contribute to the relief efforts immediately with:

– A donation of $250,000 to the American Gaming Association’s “Gaming
Industry Katrina Relief Fund” from Ameristar Casinos, Inc. and The Craig
H. Neilsen Foundation. The AGA’s fund is raising industry dollars to
provide disaster relief and assistance to affected gaming industry
employees in Mississippi and Louisiana.
– The Company’s annual “Ameristar Cares Workplace Giving Campaign,”
beginning in mid-September, which will include a hurricane relief
organization as one of its designated charities. The Company will match
all Team Member contributions dollar-for-dollar. Last year, Ameristar’s
Workplace Giving Campaign raised more than $1.5 million for charitable
– The donation of hundreds of meals per day to the shelter at the
Vicksburg Convention Center to assist in feeding hurricane refugees for
an indefinite period of time. Food and beverage staff at Ameristar
Casino Vicksburg will prepare and deliver meals to the Convention
Center, which is housing people who fled to Vicksburg to take refuge
from the hurricane.

“I am proud to lead Ameristar in supporting hurricane relief efforts with a donation from the Company, my private foundation, and our Team Members,” said Ameristar Chairman and CEO Craig H. Neilsen. He added: “We have all been deeply moved by the scenes of devastation along the Gulf Coast, and we feel a special concern toward our colleagues in the industry. We want them to know that our Company’s charitable giving program, Ameristar Cares, is committed to assist in their recovery from this terrible disaster.”

The city of Vicksburg escaped the full force of Hurricane Katrina, but the area has had power and phone outages following the storm. Ameristar Casino Vicksburg was closed on August 28 in preparation for the storm and re-opened for business August 31. The Vicksburg property sustained only limited damage due to high winds and heavy rain.

Ameristar will pay all Vicksburg Team Members for regularly scheduled shifts not worked during the closing. No Ameristar Vicksburg Team Members were injured in the storm, but some have experienced property damage. Ameristar maintains an Ameristar Cares Sunshine Fund to benefit Team Members who experience a crisis. These funds are available to Team Members affected by Hurricane Katrina.

About the Ameristar Cares Corporate Giving Program

Ameristar Casinos has a long-standing history of commitment to the communities in which we live and work. Our Ameristar Cares charitable giving program encompasses direct financial donations, workplace giving and Team Member volunteerism. In 2004, the Company gave a total of nearly $8 million to non-profit organizations, which included $5 million to local and state social service programs. In addition, during 2004 the Company made donations of nearly $1.2 million to more than 1,000 charities in our communities through Ameristar Cares. Our focus is on education, with an emphasis on adult literacy; social service agencies, with a special concentration on assisting seniors; health-related nonprofits to assist the sick; career and economic development; and research and support for responsible gaming. Through the Ameristar Cares Workplace Giving Campaign, Team Member donations are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Company, with an additional match for rehabilitation facility partners by The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Last year, the campaign raised $1,553,000 for four charity partners in each property’s community as well as for Team Member emergency relief funds. In October 2005, the Company will sponsor the Ameristar National Charity Golf Classic, to benefit spinal cord injury research. The event is expected to raise more than $500,000.

About 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 a leading market share position in each of the markets in which it operates. Founded in 1954 in Jackpot, Nevada, Ameristar has been a public company since November 1993. The company has a portfolio of seven casinos in six markets: Ameristar St. Charles (greater St. Louis); Ameristar Kansas City; Ameristar Council Bluffs (Omaha, Nebraska and southwestern Iowa ); Ameristar Vicksburg (Jackson, Mississippi and Monroe, Louisiana ); Mountain High in Black Hawk, Colorado (Denver metropolitan area); and Cactus Petes and the Horseshu in Jackpot, Nevada (Idaho and the Pacific Northwest ).

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