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Pinnacle Entertainment allowed to operate in Louisiana

A month after its planned purchase of rival Ameristar Casinos Incorporated was approved by officials in Iowa, land-based casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment Incorporated has announced that the Louisiana Gaming Control Board has now approved the proposed deal.

Pinnacle Entertainment runs seven casinos in the states of Louisiana, Indiana and Missouri in addition to a racetrack facility in Ohio and purchased Los Angeles-based sporting events organiser Federated Sports and Gaming Incorporated, which is responsible for the annual Heartland Poker Tour, a year ago.

The proposed purchase would see Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment hand over $2.8 billion in cash including assumed debt in order to take control of Ameristar Casinos and its facilities in St Charles near St Louis, Kansas City, Missouri, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Black Hawk, Colorado, Vicksburg, Mississippi, East Chicago, Indiana, and Las Vegas, Nevada, in addition to a resort under construction in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“We thank the Louisiana Gaming Control Board for its diligence in reviewing and approving our proposed acquisition of Ameristar Casinos and for permitting the transfer of interests in the Ameristar Casino Lake Charles development project,” said Anthony Sanfilippo, CEO for Pinnacle Entertainment.

“This clearance represents one of the last two remaining state regulatory agency approvals needed to complete the acquisition while also paving the regulatory path necessary for us to ultimately divest Ameristar Casinos’ Lake Charles development project and address the Federal Trade Commission's anti-trust concerns in that market.

“Consideration of the acquisition and related matters will be on the agenda at next week's Missouri Gaming Commission meeting, and if approval is obtained, we will have the last remaining state regulatory agency clearance in hand.”