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Pinnacle Entertainment

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Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK – NYSE) is a Las Vegas, Nevada-based gaming company headed by President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony M. Sanfilippo. The company employs 7,800 people and is rapidly expanding with seven casinos found in the states of Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, and Ohio. Their registered trademark as “The Best Casino Entertainment Company in the World” may be a bit superfluous for a small casino group with annual revenues of just over $1 billion, but their “aim is to significantly improve the quality of life in the cities where our team members live and work.” That alone sounds good.

The company originated as Hollywood Park Entertainment in 1938 when American film executive Jack L. Warner (Warner Bros. Studios) teamed with several Hollywood friends including Bing Crosby and Walt Disney to open the Hollywood Park Turf Club in Inglewood, California. Hollywood Park grew into a viable, popular horse racetrack and dining spot. To add revenue, a poker and card casino was added in 1994. The success of the card room convinced Hollywood Park’s owners to expand into casino gaming with the purchase of Boomtown, Inc., a three-casino company with properties in Nevada, Louisiana, and Mississippi for $188 million in 1997.

In 1998, the company acquired Casino Magic Corp. for $340 million. The deal included two casinos in Mississippi and one in Louisiana, as well as a financial interest in two Argentinian casinos. The following year, Pinnacle sold the Hollywood Park Turf Club to Churchill Downs, Inc. for $140 million and changed its name to Pinnacle Entertainment.

New Planning and Development

In 2000, Pinnacle opened its own property in Florence, Indiana. The new resort, named the Belterra Casino Resort and Spa, includes a golf course, spa and salon, meeting space, hotel, poker, and a full casino with slots, video poker, and table games like roulette and blackjack. With the success of the Belterra, Pinnacle continued forward with L'auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana and the L'auberge Casino Resort in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Not all developments have gone perfectly for Pinnacle, but the company is willing to adjust their plans. In 2006 they purchased the Sands Casino hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey with plans to shut it down and rebuild. The resort was closed in November of the same year and demolished a year later. However, due to poor economic conditions the company canceled the new project.

Previous Casino Ventures
  • Sugarcane Bay Casino Resort Louisiana was canceled
  • Sands Casino rebuild New Jersey was canceled
  • Casino Magic Mississippi was closed and sold
  • President Casino Missouri was closed
  • Casino Magic Argentina was sold
  • Casino Magic Neuquen was sold
  • Boomtown Casino Reno was sold
Current Operations
  • River Downs (Horse racing) Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Belterra Casino Resort & Spa Florence, Indiana
  • Boomtown Hotel & Casino Bossier City, Louisiana
  • Boomtown Casino New Orleans Harvey, Louisiana
  • L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • L'Auberge du Lac Resort – Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Lumière Place – Saint Louis, Missouri
  • River City Casino – Saint Louis, Missouri
New Projects: 2012

Pinnacle has invested more than $100 million in a casino partnership being built in Vietnam. Problems with licensing and local funding have put that project in jeopardy and the company's entire investment is at risk.

The company announced they would acquire Federated Sports & Gaming, Inc. and Federated Heartland, Inc. The purchase would include the Heartland Poker Tour, a live and televised poker tournament.

Pinnacle's biggest announcement in 2012 was an agreement to purchase Ameristar Casinos for a total of just under $2.8 billion. Ameristar owns eight casinos in St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Black Hawk, Colorado; Vicksburg, Mississippi; East Chicago, Indiana; and Jackpot, Nevada. Although approved by each company's board of directors, the acquisition is not expected to close until the third-quarter of 2013, which could allow other gaming entities such as Caesar's Entertainment or MGM Resorts to make their own offers to Ameristar.

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