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Penn National can keep Alton casino

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By AP/KWMU

Chicago, Ill. – The Illinois Gaming Board approved a plan Monday to let Penn National Gaming keeping its newly acquired casino in Alton, and get more time to sell its boat in Joliet.

The company had agreed last year to sell both boats when it bought rival Argosy Gaming Company. Argosy owned the Alton boat, which has also been called the Alton Belle casino.

Penn says getting rid of the Joliet boat could mean mean spinning it off so it's run by a different management company.

Selling the Joliet boat prevents Penn National from having more than one casino in the lucrative Chicago-area market because it also owns the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Ill.

Penn National attorney Cezar Froelich says the board has given Penn National until June 30th, 2008 instead of December 31st, 2006 to sell or divest the Emperess Casino Joliet.

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