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MTR Gaming president, CEO Jeffrey Dahl to resign

CHESTER, W.Va. -- MTR Gaming Group President and CEO Jeffrey Dahl will leave the gambling company to pursue other business opportunities, officials announced Tuesday.

Dahl's resignation from the company's Board of Directors is effective immediately, but Chester-based MTR said Dahl will remain as president and chief executive officer while the board searches for a successor.

Company officials didn't immediately comment on how long they expect that search to take.

"I'm proud of the progress and accomplishments we created at MTR Gaming during my tenure," Dahl said in a prepared statement.

"The opening of our Scioto Downs gaming facility has put the company on a successful path," he said of the property near Columbus, Ohio. Its slot machines opened for business last summer.

MTR also owns Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in Chester and Presque Isle Downs & Casino near Erie, Pa.

Last month, MTR reported a fourth-quarter loss of nearly $5.5 million, or 20 cents per share, on net revenues of $116.3 million.

That's compared with loss of $6 million, or 21 cents per share, for the same period in 2011. Revenues, however, were up about 12 percent from year to year.

Net revenues at Mountaineer Casino were down 16 percent to $47 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $56 million in the same period last year. Slot revenues fell by $5.5 million year-to-year, while table game revenues dropped $2.1 million, the company said.

Presque Isle Downs also took a fourth-quarter hit in revenues, which fell 22 percent to $37 million. Slot revenues dropped $8.2 million, while table game revenues fell $1.7 million from the same period in 2011.

The company cited growing competition in Ohio for those losses.

The company said it would continue "thoughtful spending" on capital improvements this year, including hotel room renovations at Mountaineer and "redefining the gaming floors" to improve the guest experience.

Dahl said he assembled a solid team during his tenure and is confident that MTR will "continue to prosper."

Chairman Steven Billick thanked Dahl for his service and for staying on to ensure a smooth transition.

Dahl, who has more than 30 years of experience in the casino industry, was appointed to his current post in January 2011. Before that, his consulting company managed Harlow's Casino Resort in Greenville, Miss.

Dahl is also a former president and chief operating officer of Torguson Gaming Group, and former president and chief operating officer of Beau Rivage Resorts in Biloxi, Miss.

He also worked at Mississippi casinos in Gulfport and Bay St. Louis, and at The Mirage in Las Vegas.


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