Pinnacle Entertainment closes sale of Louisiana project to Golden Nugget

Pinnacle Entertainment closed the sale of Lake Charles, La., project Friday, a transaction that federal antitrust regulators had requested in order to complete the company’s buyout of rival Ameristar Casinos.

In a statement, Las Vegas-based Pinnacle said the Ameristar Lake Charles hotel-casino development was sold to Golden Nugget for $176 million in cash, which covered construction costs accrued to date on the complex. Both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved the deal.

Golden Nugget, which is owned by Houston-based Landry’s Inc., plans to build a Golden Nugget hotel-casino on the site. Following completion of its $2.8 billion purchase of Ameristar, Pinnacle operates 14 casinos in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Nevada.

In addition, Pinnacle is redeveloping Belterra Park in Cincinnati into a slot machine-only casino. The company also owns majority interest Retama Park Racetrack outside of San Antonio. As part of the Ameristar deal, Pinnacle is also selling the Lumiere Place in downtown St. Louis to the company that owns the Tropicana Atlantic City. That deal is expected to close next year.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.