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J.D. Power Report: Socal majority wants smoke-free Indian casinos

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July 7, 2008

J.D. Power and Associates reported the vast majority of Southern California Indian gaming casino customers have expressed a desire for a smoke-free environment.

The study measured overall customer satisfaction based on performance in five key measures (listed in order of importance):
Gaming (33%)
Facility (27%)
Cage cashier/ticket redemption machine (17%)
Arriving/parking (15%)
Beverage service (9%)

Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino ranks highest in satisfying customers with a score of 737 on a 1,000-point scale and performs particularly well in four of five factors: arriving/parking; facility; gaming; and cage cashier/ticket redemption. Following in the rankings are Viejas Casino (724) and Pala Casino Spa and Resort (717), respectively.
Viejas Casino performs particularly well in the beverage service measure.

The following list of casinos are ranked for best customer satisfaction (Based on a 1,000-point scale)

Among the best
737 points: Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino

Better than most
724 points: Viejas Casino
717 points: Pala Casino Spa and Resort
708 points: Sycuan Casino and Resort

About average (701 points: Industry Average)
697 points: Morongo Casino Resort and Spa
696 points: Pechanga Resort & Casino
693 points: Chumash Casino

The rest
683 points: San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino

Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are: Soboba Casino, Spotlight 29 Coachella, Table Mountain Casino and Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino.

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates

"Most casino customers have grown accustomed to dealing with large volumes of cigarette smoke in the air, but an overwhelming percentage indicate they would prefer to play in a smoke-free environment, which presents a major opportunity for improvement for casinos," said Sam Thanawalla, director of the global hospitality and travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "While some establishments have already begun implementing smoke-free gaming areas in their facilities, customers may not be aware that this is an option. Those casinos that provide smoke-free gaming areas and also do a good job of educating consumers about them could benefit from increased attendance and higher satisfaction."

The study also finds the following key patterns:

-- On average, Indian gaming casino players in Southern California travel approximately 64 miles, each way, to visit a casino.

-- Only 1 in 20 casino players (5%) report experiencing a significant problem during their casino visit. Of those customers who reported their problem to a casino employee, approximately one-third said their problem was resolved.

-- Approximately 89 percent of casino customers play slot machines, while
48 percent play table games.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:
John TewsSyvetril Perryman
Troy, Mich. Westlake Village, Calif.
(312) 248-4119 (805) 418-8103
john.tews@jdpa.com syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com

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