Executive: Ameristar won’t feel immediate effect of Pinnacle sale

Published 9:00 pm Monday, December 18, 2017

There will be no immediate effect locally by the acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns the Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg, by Penn National Gaming, a Pinnacle executive said.

The acquisition of Pinnacle by Penn National of Wyomissing, Pa., was announced Monday in a press release issued by Pinnacle. The deal is worth $2.8 billion, according to the release. Pinnacle owns and operates 16 gaming and entertainment facilities in 11 markets across the United States. Ameristar is its only property in Mississippi.

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Troy Stremming, executive vice president of government relations and public affairs for Pinnacle, said the acquisition agreement is not expected to be finalized until the second half of 2018.

“People will not see any changes (locally) during 2018,” he said.

According to the release, the acquisition creates a combined company that will operate 41 properties in 20 markets throughout North America with approximately 53,500 slots, 1,300 tables and 8,300 hotel rooms, and will have more than 35,000 employees.

Under the agreement, Pinnacle will sell four of its properties, Ameristar Kansas City and Ameristar St. Charles in Missouri; Belterra Casino Resort in Indiana; and Belterra Park in Ohio to Boyd Gaming Corp. for approximately $575 million in cash.

“By combining our highly complementary portfolios and similar operating philosophies, we will be able to leverage the strengths of both our companies and create an unparalleled experience for our regional gaming customers, while generating significant value for our shareholders and business partners,” said Timothy J. Wilmott, chief executive officer of Penn National Gaming.

“The combined company will benefit from enhanced scale, additional growth opportunities and best-in-class operations, creating a more efficient integrated gaming company. We look forward to welcoming Pinnacle’s talented employees to our team and to further enhancing our status as North America’s leading regional gaming operator.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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