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SEATTLE-Las Vegas-based Phoenix Leisure Corp. has acquired 50% equity interests in four mini-casinos in Washington State. To fund the acquisition, the publicly traded company had converted to equity the $1.8 million loan it gave Cleopatra Gaming Management for development of the owner-banked cardrooms.

The mini-casinos are located in Kennewick, Ellensburg and Kelso. Eric Nelson, who serves as Phoenix Leisure’s Chairman and President, is the sole member and manager of Cleopatra.

Three of the four cardrooms currently operate with statutory maximum wagering limits of $100. The company projects the four facilities will generate annualized incremental cash flow (EBITDA) to Phoenix Leisure of $1 million. Statewide cardrooms generated $227 million in net receipts for the twelve months ended June 30, 2001, an increase of 22% from the previous period.

In addition to its venture with Cleopatra, Phoenix Leisure’s holdings include the Wyoming Downs horse racetrack near Evanston and four off-track wagering facilities located throughout Wyoming. The company is licensed to develop a casino-hotel along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and owns over five acres of undeveloped land zoned as eligible for casino gaming in Central City, CO. The company also has an investment in Viva Gaming & Resorts Inc. to develop lottery entertainment centers in the Republic of Mexico.

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