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Lakes Entertainment Giving WPTE Shares Away to Investors

The 61 Percent Owner of World Poker Tour Ending Relationship

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Lakes Entertainment, the casino developer and operator that holds 61 percent of World Poker Tour Enterprise’s stock, announced that it will divide all WPTE stock it owns and distribute it to Lakes Entertainment shareholders.

The approximately 12.4 million shares will be distributed Nov. 28, essentially removing Lakes Entertainment as the primary owner of the WPTE. Each shareholder of Lakes Entertainment will receive a little less than a half-share of WPTE stock for every share of Lakes Entertainment stock they own. WPTE stock is currently trading at 50 cents a share.

“The spin-off of WPTE shares to our shareholders provides an option for them to monetize the value of WPTE shares if they so choose,” said Tim Cope, president and chief financial officer of Lakes. “In addition, Lakes will benefit in that we will no longer be required to consolidate WPTE’s financial and business information in our SEC filings. This will enable us to provide greater transparency of Lakes’ operations and financial results to our shareholders and the public.”

The WPTE, which is a separately owned, publicly traded company that shares a CEO with Lakes in Lyle Berman, is facing de-listing from the NASDAQ because its stock has spent so much time trading lower than $1. The company was put on notice by NASDAQ on Aug. 15 that the WPTE may lose its spot on the exchange if it fails to bring its stock price over $1 for 10 consecutive days.

It has 180 days from Aug. 15 to accomplish this before its get booted off NASDAQ (giving it until Feb. 11, 2009), but since then broke $1 on only two days (Sept. 2 at $1.01 and Sept. 8 at $1).