Indiana Regulator OKs Pinnacle Merger With Ameristar

It's wasn't exactly left up to Lady Luck, but Pinnalce Entertainment (NYSE: PNK  ) announced yesterday that the Indiana Gaming Commission will let it roll the dice with its acquisition of Ameristar Casinos (NASDAQ: ASCA  ) . However, though the state body granted the casino operator merger approval, there are still a number of other state regulatory channels to navigate and the Federal Trade Commission has to sign off as well.

Pinnacle, which owns seven casinos located in Louisiana, Missouri, and Indiana, as well as a racetrack in Ohio, agreed to acquire Ameristar on Dec. 20 in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.50 per Ameristar share for a total consideration of $2.8 billion, including assumed debt. 

Noting the transaction remains on track for completion in the third quarter, Pinnacle Entertainment CEO Anthony Sanfilippo said: "The property will also augment our presence in the broader region, which currently includes Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana, and in the future, will include our new gaming entertainment center currently being developed at River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio."

Ameristar owns and operates casino facilities near St. Louis and in Kansas City, Mo.; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Black Hawk, Colo.; Vicksburg, Miss.; East Chicago, Ind.; and the Jackpot properties in Jackpot, Nev.

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