Gaming board OKs sale of Pinnacle

CEO of Penn National says no significant personnel changes planned

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board on Thursday approved Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming’s $2.8 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment.

The deal, announced by both companies in December, will grow Penn National’s gambling properties from 29 to 41, including four Louisiana properties leased and operated by Pinnacle. They are L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge, Boomtown Casino and Hotel New Orleans, and Boomtown Casino and Hotel Bossier City.

Eric Schippers, Penn National’s senior vice president of public affairs, said in December that the deal would close during the second half of this year. It requires approval from gaming boards in all jurisdictions, with the Louisiana Gaming Board being the eighth to OK the purchase.

During the board meeting, Tim Wilmont, Penn National CEO, said the purchase will make the company “the largest regional gaming operator in the United States.”

“This transaction for the two companies is transformational,” he said. “We’re excited about the quality of the assets and the people that are part of Pinnacle Entertainment.”

Wilmont said Penn National had 15 properties when he joined the company in 2008. The acquisition, he said, will bring about $5 billion in annual revenue. 

There will be “no rebranding” of the L’Auberge or Boomtown properties, Wilmont said. He said company officials “don’t anticipate any significant personnel changes” at the four Louisiana properties during the merger.

Anthony Sanfilippo, Pinnacle Entertainment CEO, said Penn National “has been terrific” through the merger process.

“There’s not a better company that, if we’re turning the company over to, that I’d rather turn it over to than Penn National,” he said.

Part of the deal calls for Penn National to sell four Pinnacle properties — two in Missouri and one each in Indiana and Ohio — to Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp. for about $575 million in cash. Schippers said the sale was included because Penn National already has properties in those markets.

Pinnacle shareholders will get $20 in cash per share and 0.42 shares of Penn National per Pinnacle share. Wilmont said shareholders approved the acquisition in March.

The Gaming Control Board in April 2016 approved a deal allowing Pinnacle to sell and lease back several casinos to Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust company and an offshoot of Penn National. Included in the sale were the L’Auberge and Boomtown Casino properties. The deal between Pinnacle and GLPI requires Pinnacle to pay GLPI $377 million in annual rent to operate the gambling facilities.

””

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved Penn National Gaming’s acquisition of L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge, Boomtown Casino and Hotel New Orleans, and Boomtown Casino and Hotel Bossier City

Business News

UPDATE: Six injured in plant explosion

Business News

BREAKING: Chemical plant explosion in Sulphur

Local News

Task force chairman: Edwards’ proposed budget doesn’t offer enough funding for I-10 bridge

Local News

FEMA announces extension for Laura, Delta housing

Local News

UPDATE: Payton resigns as coach of New Orleans Saints

Local News

Biden administration officially withdraws vaccine rule

Business

Hunting, fishing app the ‘Airbnb for sportsmen’

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Business News

Mark Judson column: Nonprofit theft lessons learned

Business

It’s tax time: What to know before you file

Business

Woman guilty of fraud barred from doing taxes in Louisiana

Business News

After delays, Lucky Delta set to be torn down

National Sports

Source: Coach Sean Payton resigns from New Orleans Saints

Crime

1/25: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Cowboys look to use home stand to climb Southland standings

Local News

Man killed in auto-pedestrian accident

Local News

‘We can do better’: Residents say not enough coastal protection in SW La.

Crime

Rash of school bus part thefts in Jeff Davis

Crime

Three LC men arrested in Bossier City robbery of Sulphur man

National News

War fears mount as US draws down Ukraine embassy presence

Local News

Living the Dream: Starks native advises others to ‘sieze every opportunity’

Local News

COVID closures continue to impact childcare providers

Local News

SW La. school lunch menus Jan. 24-28

Local News

Informer: No new mask mandate from governor