The long and controversial merger of casino prime authorities Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. and Ameristar finally received its last state regulatory nod. The Missouri Gaming Commission’s approval is the final endorsement that the merger needs to close the transaction. Based on online reports regarding the union of the two bookmaking giants, Missouri is the last state to give its nod to the acquisition of Pinnacle for Ameristar. The agreement and merger is reported to create and establish a regional bookmaking company with the ownership of 17 different properties located in nine different states. According to Pinnacle officials, the company is hoping to finalize everything and close the deal by August’s end.
In an interview, Pinnacle Entertainment, a Las Vegas based bookmaking company, informed Missouri gaming regulators of their plan and hopes to finally close the deal and acquire Ameristar. Pinnacle is planning to sell the Lumiere Place located in downtown St. Louis as part of their sales agreement and acquisition of another bookmaking property. According to sources, the sellout of Lumiere Place will take place within two weeks upon finalization of the Ameristar acquisition. The prime casino company further stated that selling Lumiere Place in St. Louis is still part of their settlement with the Federal Trade Commission or FTC. It is common knowledge in the bookmaking industry that the initial Pinnacle Ameristar merger was halted by antitrust issues raised by the FTC regarding its St. Louis ownership. Pinnacle also confirms selling out of Ameristar resort development project, a $580 million property located in Lake Charles, La.
Pinnacle reiterated that its financing solutions will be completed however final approval will still come from FTC. Online reports revealed from Pinnacle spokesperson that the FTC has interviewed two managers who will monitor the Lake Charles and Lumiere Place projects respectively. Justin Sebastian, gaming analyst from Brean Capital told casino investors that the weakness which Pinnacle suffered is due to the poor earnings of Penn National Gaming. According to reports, Pinnacle shares dropped 2.2% on New York Stock Exchange trading. Ameristar on the other hand plummeted 1% in trading based on results from Nasdaq Global Select.