New Record Q1 Results for Monarch Casino - Saturday 29th of April 2006

RENO, Nevada – Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. (Nasdaq: MCRI), owner of the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada, today announced record financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2006.

The Company reported EBITDA of $9.5 million, a 15.5% improvement over the $8.2 million EBITDA reported for the first quarter of 2005. The improved EBITDA beat published consensus analysts' estimate of $9.2 million and was the result of record first quarter net revenues of $35.6 million and better operating margins. The Company's operating margin for the period improved to 20.6% of net revenues from 19.6% of net revenues during the same period a year earlier. The record revenues were driven by a 15.4% increase in casino revenue, an 8.0% increase in both food and beverage and hotel revenues, and a 4.0% improvement in other revenues.

Record first quarter 2006 net income of $4.8 million is a 23.7% increase from first quarter 2005 net income of $3.9 million and translates into earnings per diluted share (EPS) of $0.25 versus $0.20 for the same period last year. The Company's first quarter 2006 diluted EPS beat the published consensus analysts' estimate of $0.24.

The Company achieved record results despite implementing the requirements of SFAS 123R in the first quarter of 2006. The Company booked approximately $548,000 in additional pre-tax equity compensation expense during the quarter as a result of implementing the provisions of SFAS 123R, which went into effect January 1, 2006. SFAS 123R requires fair value measurement and recognition in the financial statements for all share-based compensation arrangements. Excluding this share based compensation expense, the Company's reported after-tax earnings would have been $0.27 per diluted share for the first quarter 2006, which would have been a 35% increase from the $0.20 diluted EPS reported in the first quarter 2005. Had SFAS 123R been in effect during the first quarter 2005, pre-tax expenses for that period would have increased by approximately $252,000.

Also during the first quarter of 2006, the Company became debt free, having paid off the $8.1 million December 31, 2005 balance on its revolving credit facility. $24 million remains available to be drawn down under the revolving credit facility should the Company require such funds.

John Farahi, Monarch's CEO and Co-Chairman commended his team for the positive results: "Our management continues to do a fabulous job of making the Atlantis one of the premier properties in northern Nevada. As a result, we benefit from the frequent repeat business of our established guests, and also attract fresh patronage from first time visitors, as well as locals who are new to the area. Circumstances that allow us to thrive and continue to be the foundation of our success are our location, strong local economy and the quality of the product and services we provide. But it is the vibrant hospitality, attention to detail, and tireless effort of our team members that maximize our potential. One measure of our success is our continuing strong flow through: This quarter we produced an increase to our net revenues by almost thirteen percent, yet our promotional allowances increased by less than eight percent." Mr. Farahi also observed: "Being debt free gives our Board even greater opportunity to explore corporate growth opportunities. At the same time, we continue work on our Atlantis expansion plans which are in the preliminary design phase."

Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, owns and operates the tropically-themed Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada. The Atlantis is the closest hotel-casino to, and is directly across the street from, the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The Atlantis is recognizable due to its Sky Terrace, a unique structure rising approximately 55 feet above street level and spanning 160 feet across Virginia Street with no intermediate support pillars. The Sky Terrace connects the Atlantis to a 16-acre parcel of land owned by the Company, that is compliant with all casino zoning requirements and is suitable and available for future expansion of the Atlantis facilities and is currently being used by the Company as additional paved parking for the Atlantis. The existing Atlantis site offers almost 1,000 guest rooms in three contiguous high-rise hotel towers and a motor lodge. The tropically-themed Atlantis features approximately 51,000 square feet of high-energy casino space with 38 table games and approximately 1,450 slot and video poker machines, a sports book, Keno and a poker room, and offers a variety of dining choices in the form of nine high-quality food outlets.

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