Pinnacle Entertainment offloads Louisiana casino

29 July 2013

As part of its planned purchase of rival Casinos Incorporated, American land-based casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment Incorporated has agreed a deal to offload an under-construction venue in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Landry’s Restaurants Incorporated.
Las Vegas-based 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, last year.

The acquisition of Ameristar Casinos would see Pinnacle Entertainment hand over $2.8 billion in cash including assumed debt in order to take control of the rival operator’s 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.

Pinnacle Entertainment has already had its takeover approved by regulators in Iowa, Missouri and Louisiana while this latest deal partially satisfies a portion of the anti-trust settlement it reached with the Federal Trade Commission.

For its part, Houston-based Landry’s Restaurants owns the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and has agreed to recompense Pinnacle Entertainment all of the development costs for the Louisiana venue, which are said to stand at $213.9m, while additionally assuming all of the property’s outstanding debts.

“Due to our strong presence with all of our brands in the Texas and Louisiana markets, we are confident that we can grow gaming revenues in Lake Charles,” said Tilman Fertitta, CEO for Landry’s Restaurants.

To satisfy the remainder of its deal with the Federal Trade Commission, Pinnacle Entertainment must still offload its Lumiere Place casino in St Louis, Missouri, within the next two weeks.

“We have spent considerable time meeting with the leadership of both the Pinnacle Entertainment and Ameristar Casinos properties and are increasingly excited about the opportunities, scale benefits and synergies that will be created by the combination of these two very complementary asset portfolios,” said Anthony Sanfilippo, CEO for Pinnacle Entertainment.