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$80 MILLION DROP CITED IN CASINO NIAGARA TAKE

The SARS scare, the Iraq war and increased security measures combined to drop Casino Niagara's earnings nearly $80 million (U.S.) in the 2003-2004 fiscal year.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. released financial details of its combined operations for that period on Monday. The reporting period predates the opening of the $800 million (U.S.) Fallsview Resort Casino, the province's second casino in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Net income from Ontario's three casino operations declined to $208 million (U.S.) in 2004 from a peak of $604 million (U.S.) in 1999. Casino Rama, north of Toronto, saw a $20 million increase, but Casino Niagara and Casino Windsor each saw earnings fall nearly $80 million (U.S.), the agency reported.

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