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So what: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint over the merger, saying it would lead to higher prices -- or lower payouts -- to gamblers in Missouri and Louisiana. The FTC thinks that Pinnacle would have incentive to change table game rules, the hold rate, and rake rates post-merger because it has the scale to not fear competition.
Now what: It's difficult to say how this complaint will play out, but one possibility would be the sale of some casinos to a third party and a continuation of the merger. No matter what happens, I think the combined company faces a lot of challenges, because gaming has deteriorating returns around the country. More and more states are allowing slots and table games, which reduces return for existing casinos, and the trend doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.
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Fool contributor Travis Hoium and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.