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Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

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Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Lights It Up Blue to Support Autism Awareness Month

Dover, DE, April 06, 2013 --( Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, in support of Autism Speaks’ global Light It Up Blue campaign, is participating in shining a light on autism by illuminating its hotel façade in blue during the month of April. The Light It Up Blue initiative begins April 2 each year, known as World Autism Awareness Day, to raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism.

More than 7,000 iconic landmarks in 90 countries have joined the Light It Up Blue initiative, including the Empire State Building and George Washington Bridge in New York, Sydney Opera House in Australia, Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, Table Mountain in South Africa, and Palace of The Parliament in Romania. Delaware participants in the campaign include Delaware’s Capitol Building, The Circle in Georgetown, and numerous private households. A list of additional landmarks participating and other ideas to get involved in can be found at

Autism is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Autism is characterized by impairments in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and repetitive behaviors.

Additionally, some individuals with autism may have issues with sensory processing and/or obsessive interests. These behaviors can range in impact from mild to severe. Scientists are not certain what causes autism, but it is likely that both genetics and environment play a role.

Autism typically appears during the first three years of life. Increasingly, researchers are able to diagnose it at younger ages. The latest data from a survey conducted by the Centers of Disease Control suggests one in 50 school-age children has some form of ASD. School-aged boys were four times more likely to have an ASD than girls. These latest statistics continue to show a dramatic increase in the rate of autism.

According to the Autism Delaware website, it is estimated that there are about 1,500 individuals with autism in Delaware – a conservative figure based on public reporting from state agencies. An exact figure on the number of people who have autism in Delaware is not possible because not all individuals affected by autism – whether children or adults – utilize public systems so that they can be accurately tracked. In 2012, the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) reported 1,208 public school students who have an educational classification of autism. This represents an alarming 695% increase from DOE’s reported 152 public school students with autism in 1991.

To learn more about autism, visit and

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $195 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships and related activities in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit

About Autism Delaware
Autism Delaware is a nonprofit organization made up of individuals with ASDs, their family members, the professionals who serve them, and friends of people with ASDs. With offices in Newark and Milton, Autism Delaware serves the entire state. Autism Delaware’s programs and services are supported by state contracts and generous donations from individuals and corporations across Delaware. Fundraising events, like the Walk for Autism, help provide the income needed to make critical programs a reality. For more information on how to help, visit

About Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Owned by Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: DDE), Dover Downs Hotel & Casino® is a premier gaming and entertainment resort destination in the Mid-Atlantic region. Gaming operations consist of approximately 2,500 slots and a full complement of table games including poker. The AAA-rated Four Diamond hotel is Delaware’s largest with 500 luxurious rooms/suites and amenities including a full-service spa/salon, concert hall and 41,500 sq. ft. of multi-use event space. Live, world-class harness racing is featured November through April, and horse racing is simulcast year-round. Professional football parlay betting is accepted during the season. Additional property amenities include multiple restaurants from fine dining to casual fare, bars/lounges and retail shops. For more information, please visit
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Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Lisa Rollins

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