Labor union seeks review that could block $4.75 billion merger

A national labor union is seeking an administrative review that could block casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment’s $4.75 billion merger with real estate investment trust Gaming and Leisure Properties.

According to a complaint filed with the Indiana Gaming Commission Monday, Unite Here said the transaction would violate state gaming law because GLPI would have ownership in three riverboat casinos.

Indiana gaming regulators approved the deal last week. Pinnacle and GLPI announced the transaction last year in which the REIT would acquire 14 casinos from Pinnacle and lease the properties back to the casino operator.

Shareholders from both companies are expected to vote on the transaction this month. Nevada gaming regulators still need to approve the merger.

Pinnacle owns and operates two casinos in Indiana, Belterra and Ameristar East Chicago. GLPI owns the Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg, which is operated by Penn National Gaming.

“The purchases would cause GLPI to exceed the state statutory limit on concentration of casino ownership which limits any owner to two casinos,” attorneys for Unite Here said in a statement.

The national union, which is the parent of Culinary Workers Local 226 in Las Vegas, protested the Pinnacle-GLPI deal last year in a hearing in front of Indiana gaming regulators.

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

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