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Penn National Gaming to Retain Argosy Casino-Alton

7 Mar 2006

WYOMISSING, Pennsylvania -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) announced today that the Illinois Gaming Board ("IGB") has agreed to allow Penn National to retain the Argosy Casino-Alton in Alton, Illinois. In addition, the Illinois Gaming Board granted Penn National an extension to the time limit by which Penn National is required to reach a definitive sale agreement for the Empress Casino Joliet in Joliet, Illinois from December 31, 2006 until June 30, 2008. Penn National assumed ownership of the two properties with its acquisition of Argosy Gaming Company that was completed in October 2005. In September 2005, the Illinois Gaming Board approved the Argosy Gaming Company acquisition. As a condition to that approval, Penn National agreed to divest the Argosy Casino-Alton and the Empress Casino Joliet within fifteen months of completing the transaction.

Peter M. Carlino, Chief Executive Officer of Penn National Gaming, commented, "We appreciate the cooperative and patient approach that the members of the Illinois Gaming Board have taken during this process and are delighted that they have agreed to allow Penn National to keep the Argosy Casino-Alton property. We look forward to being a long-term member of, and contributor to, the Alton business community. We also acknowledge the IGB's willingness to extend the length of time that Penn National has to reach a definitive sale agreement for the Empress Casino Joliet."

As reported on February 15th, the results of Argosy Casino-Alton and the Empress Casino Joliet are accounted for as continuing operations as reflected in Penn National's guidance for the 2006 first quarter and full year 2006.

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