Pinnacle Entertainment has reached an agreement in principle with the Bureau of Competition Staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that—subject to negotiation of a consent order, commission approval and gaming regulatory approvals—would permit the consummation of its proposed $2.8 billion acquisition of Ameristar Casinos.
The FTC had blocked the Ameristar sale citing competition issues in the St Louis, Mo., and Lake Charles. La., marketplaces, where the combination of existing Pinnacle and Ameristar properties could create monopolistic situations.
To placate FTC concerns, Pinnacle intends to sell Ameristar’s casino hotel development project in Lake Charles, La., and Pinnacle’s Lumiere Place Casino, HoteLumiere and the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis, Mo., subject to gaming regulatory approvals.
“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,” said Anthony Sanfilippo, CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment, in a prepared statement.
If this arrangement passes federal and state musters, Pinnacle could close the Ameristar deal by September and then schedule the sale of the Missouri and Louisiana properties. According to John Kempf of RBC Gaming, these properties will prove popular, with Isle of Capri, Churchill Downs, Rock Gaming and Rush Street Gaming leading the list of potential buyers.