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Pinnacle resolves FTC complaint in purchase of Ameristar Casinos

Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg

Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg

The sale of Ameristar Casinos to Pinnacle Entertainment is ready to move forward after Pinnacle said it has reached a tentative agreement on a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission.

The sale includes Ameristar in Vicksburg, which employs 800 at its 72,210-square-foot casino and hotel.

In addition to Vicksburg, Ameristar owns and operates casino facilities in St. Charles near St. Louis, Mo.; Kansas City, Mo.; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Black Hawk, Colo.; East Chicago, Ind.; the Jackpot, Nev., properties; and a casino resort under construction in Lake Charles, La.

Pinnacle is the operator of seven casinos and a racetrack. It owns three casinos in Louisiana — two under the Boomtown brand in Bossier City and New Orleans — two casinos in Missouri, two in Indiana and a horse racetrack in Ohio.

The acquisition of Ameristar Casinos would have given Pinnacle three of the four main casinos in the St. Louis area, and would have given it control of the top-producing casino in Kansas City. Also In Lake Charles, an Ameristar casino is being built next to an existing Pinnacle casino, making them close competitors.

To resolve the conflict, Pinnacle said it plans to sell an Ameristar casino project in Lake Charles and the Lumiere Place Casino, HoteLumiere and Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis, subject to regulatory approvals, according to a statement issued today.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made in addressing the Federal Trade Commission’s administrative complaint and look forward to completing our proposed acquisition of Ameristar as soon as possible in the third quarter,” Anthony Sanfilippo, chief executive officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, said in the statement.

The stockholders of Las Vegas-based Ameristar Casinos on April 25 approved the acquisition by Pinnacle, which had been disclosed in December. But the FTC filed a complaint in May to block the $2.8 billion takeover, saying it would hurt competition.

Pinnacle is scheduled to seek regulatory approval of the purchase of the Vicksburg property during the monthly meeting of the Mississippi Gaming Commission in Jackson.




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