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Ameristar Casinos Announces Changes to Board Governance


May 6, 2011 - LAS VEGAS, NV

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASCA) today announced that its Board of Directors has made modifications to its governance structure following the resignation of executive Chairman and director Ray H. Neilsen. The total number of members of the Board has been reduced from eight to seven. Consequently, a majority of the Board is now comprised of independent members. Luther P. Cochrane, an independent director for the past five years, has been elected non-executive Chairman of the Board. In addition, Gordon R. Kanofsky has resigned as Vice Chairman of the Board, but will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer and a director. Further, the Board recently appointed a Nominating Committee, which is comprised solely of independent directors.

"During his tenure on the Board, Luther has provided invaluable guidance in enhancing Ameristar's financial flexibility and focus on meaningful growth. He will play a key leadership role in the continued evolution of the Company," said Kanofsky. "The Board believes the election of a non-executive Chairman is an appropriate corporate governance change given the shift in the Company's ownership as a result of our recent repurchase of shares from the Neilsen Estate."

Cochrane became a director of the Company in January 2006 and is Chair of the Nominating Committee as well as a member of the Compensation and Audit Committees of the Board. Cochrane has had a distinguished career of more than 30 years in the construction industry and the legal profession. He is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BE&K Building Group, LLC, a diversified commercial, hospitality, healthcare, industrial and institutional construction firm, nationally recognized for its design-build expertise. He has held several other senior executive positions, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bovis Lend Lease, a global real estate group providing a full range of construction, development, capital structuring and consulting services. Cochrane was formerly a senior partner with the Griffin, Cochrane and Marshall law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in real estate and construction law. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a Juris Doctorate degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

About Ameristar
Ameristar Casinos, Inc. is a leading Las Vegas-based gaming and entertainment company known for its premier properties characterized by state-of-the-art casino floors and superior dining, lodging and entertainment offerings. Ameristar's focus on the highest quality gaming experience and exceptional guest service has earned it leading positions in the markets in which it operates. Founded in 1954 in Jackpot, Nev., Ameristar has been a public company since November 1993. The Company has a portfolio of eight casinos in seven markets: Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles (greater St. Louis); Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City; Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs (Omaha, Neb., and southwestern Iowa); Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk (Denver metropolitan area); Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg (Jackson, Miss. and Monroe, La.); Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago (Chicagoland area); and Cactus Petes Resort Casino and The Horseshu Hotel and Casino in Jackpot, Nev. (Idaho and the Pacific Northwest).

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

CONTACT:
Beth Bellaro
Communications Manager
Ameristar Casinos, Inc.
702-567-7052

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