Bonus Plan

AMERISTAR CASINOS, INC. PERFORMANCE-BASED BONUS PLAN FOR CRAIG H. NEILSEN PERFORMANCE CRITERIA FOR 2005 Adopted by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors March 24, 2005

by Ameristar Casinos
March 28th, 2005
 

Exhibit 10.1

AMERISTAR CASINOS, INC.
PERFORMANCE-BASED BONUS PLAN
FOR CRAIG H. NEILSEN

PERFORMANCE CRITERIA FOR 2005

Adopted by the Compensation Committee
of the Board of Directors
March 24, 2005

     For purposes of the Performance-Based Bonus Plan for Craig H. Neilsen (this “Plan”) for 2005, Mr. Neilsen’s target bonus shall be $850,000 (the “Target Bonus”) and the target level of Company EBITDA against which Company performance will be measured shall be $259,400,000 (the “EBITDA Target”).

     The Earned Bonus shall be calculated in accordance with the following formula:

  •   If EBITDA is less than 90.0% of the EBITDA Target, then the Earned Bonus shall equal zero.

  •   If EBITDA is at least 90.0% of the EBITDA Target but less than 100.0% of the EBITDA Target, then the Earned Bonus shall be calculated as follows:

  •   Earned Bonus = $850,000 — $0.032767926 for every $1.00 by which Company EBITDA is less than $259,400,000.

  •   If EBITDA equals exactly 100.0% of the EBITDA Target, then the Earned Bonus shall equal the Target Bonus (i.e., $850,000).

  •   If EBITDA is greater than 100.0% of the EBITDA Target but less than 110.0% of the EBITDA Target, then the Earned Bonus shall be calculated as follows:

  •   Earned Bonus = $850,000 + $0.032767926 for every $1.00 of EBITDA achieved by the Company in excess of $259,400,000.

  •   If EBITDA is 110.0% of the EBITDA Target or greater, then the Earned Bonus shall equal 200% of the Target Bonus (i.e., $1,700,000).