Poker Coverage:

Pinnacle Gets FTC Approval For Casino Merger

Federal Regulators Vote 4-0 For Plan To Move Forward


Pinnacle Entertainment’s purchase of Ameristar Casinos received a crucial OK this week from the federal government.

The need for approval from the feds came because the Federal Trade Commission expressed concerns about the former having too big of a piece of the pie in certain markets.

As a result, in order to complete the deal, the FTC required Pinnacle to make arrangements to sell a casino in St. Louis as well as a project planned in Louisiana.

“The proposed order announced today is an example of the Commission’s continuing efforts to preserve competition on behalf of consumers,” Deborah Feinstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement. “This agreement will preserve competition in these areas, ensuring casino patrons benefit from competitive pricing and amenities.”

The sale of Ameristar comes with a price tag of $2.8 billion.

The government said that without the release of those two brick-and-mortar casino investments, “the transaction would have increased Pinnacle’s ability and incentive to raise prices post-acquisition, in the form of less favorable hold rates, rake rates, table game rules and odds, and lower player reinvestments.”

The FTC approved the overall plan by a vote of 4-0.

Missouri, Louisiana and Nevada all have approved the merger as well.

Tags: Pinnacle,   Ameristar,   FTC,   Poker Business