Washington, DC - Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved an application by Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. to divest its Lumiere Place Casino and all associated assets, including two hotels, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Tropicana St. Louis LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tropicana Entertainment,
Inc. In a final order, the FTC requires Pinnacle to divest these assets to a Commission-approved buyer to resolve charges that Pinnacle’s acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. would substantially reduce competition among casinos in St. Louis, in violation of the antitrust laws. The order also requires Pinnacle to divest casino assets in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and the FTC already has approved their sale to GNLC Holdings, Inc.
According to the FTC’s complaint, absent a divestiture remedy, Pinnacle’s acquisition of Ameristar would have resulted in increased prices and lower quality for casino customers in the St. Louis and Lake Charles areas. Pinnacle and Ameristar were direct competitors in St. Louis, where both own casinos, and in the Lake Charles area, where they would have competed beginning in 2014 after the opening of Ameristar’s new casino.