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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Courts Rule Against Thunderbird Resorts

 

Thunderbird Resorts, Inc. ("Thunderbird") announces: In Chile, Thunderbird is participating in public bids to secure new casino licenses. Under the new Chilean casino law, up to 17 new licenses are in the process of being awarded in 2006. The Company has had a very active business development presence in Chile since July 2003, with the objective of securing 2 to 4 new licenses. The Company has been engaged in a "legal challenge" against the Superintendent of Casinos who excluded the Company from the bid process nearly 9 months ago.The Company filed for "protection recourse" in its quest to be included as a bidder in the Chile Bid Process. On April 5, 2006, the Santiago Court of Appeals unanimously ruled (3-0) in favor of Thunderbird's petitions against the Chilean Gaming Commission's resolutions that had excluded Thunderbird from the casino bid process. The Court of Appeals found that the Gaming Commission's resolutions were arbitrary and illegal. The Chilean Gaming Commission thereafter appealed the decision to the Chilean Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has ruled against Thunderbird by a 4 to 1 decision based on "admissibility grounds".

Albert Atallah, General Counsel, commented that, "The Company is disappointed that the Supreme Court did not reach the merits of the case;" further that, "(W)e are analyzing the effect of the ruling and are considering additional legal recourse on the merits with the understanding that the Chilean Supreme Court has made a final determination on the protection recourse remedy exclusively on admissibility grounds."

The Supreme Court decision to overturn the Court of Appeals' ruling was made without having considered the substantive merits of Thunderbird's case. However, the effect of the Supreme Court ruling is that the Company is now excluded from the bid process.

Thunderbird Resorts is a successful recreational property developer and operator in each of its markets. Thunderbird Resorts' success is based upon creating genuine value for the community and for its employees and shareholders. Thunderbird Resorts achieves its mission by offering customers dynamic, themed and integrated venues anchored by casinos and gaming facilities.

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