Penn National Gets Missouri Approval for Pinnacle Buyout: Will Operate Five Properties Within State

Posted on: August 31, 2018, 09:07h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2018, 09:07h.

Penn National Gaming now has a dozen states on board for its takeover of 12 Pinnacle Entertainment properties for the price of $2.8 billion. The Missouri Gaming Commission approved the buyout during its August 29 meeting.

The Missouri Gaming Commission signed off on the Penn National Gaming purchase of 12 Pinnacle Entertainment properties, including River City Casino in the Show Me State. (Photo: River City Casino)

The deal calls for Pinnacle to sell 12 of its properties to Penn National Gaming, and its remaining four to Boyd Gaming. The inclusion of Boyd in the buyout was done to avoid monopoly concerns, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has still not signed off on.

The regulatory endorsement comes on the heels of Iowa’s approval last week.

Path to Approval

The resolution drafted by PNG attorneys and approved by the commission states the “the transactions are in the best interest of the State of Missouri … [and] will not discredit or tend to discredit the gaming industry or the State of Missouri, will have no material negative competitive interest.”

Timothy Wilmott, CEO of PNG, issued a similar statement to the one that accompanied the approval from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission last week.

“Reflecting the progress we have made to date with securing regulatory approvals, and the timeline we have established for the remaining requisite approvals, we remain on schedule to complete the transaction early in the fourth quarter,” Wilmott said in a statement.

Bigger Presence in Missouri

The approval from the state of Missouri might be more significant than other states. PNG already operates two casinos there and will significantly increase its gaming footprint in the state when the sale is finalized.

Three of the 12 Pinnacle properties PNG is poised to take over are in Missouri. The Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, the Ameristar Resort in St. Charles, and River City Casino & Hotel in St. Louis will more than double PNG’s Missouri presence to five properties.

Those five venues will be part of a collection of 41 operated by PNG across the US and Canada. The company is also planning to acquire the Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, LA for $376 million.