Deal could cause multiple Missouri casinos to change hands

Two gambling companies, which together own four of the St. Louis area’s six casinos and three more gaming properties in the Kansas City area, are negotiating a possible merger.

Penn National Gaming Inc. said Thursday it is discussing the purchase of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. Penn National runs the Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, Casino Argosy Alton, Argosy Kansas City and Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway. Pinnacle operates Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, River City Casino in Lemay and Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City.

Pennsylvania-based Penn National and Pinnacle, with headquarters in Las Vegas, said the talks toward a cash-and-stock deal may or may not lead to a transaction.

Pinnacle owns and operates 16 gaming properties overall, while Penn National has 29.

Regulators, however, potentially could order the consolidated company to sell off some of its casinos in the St. Louis area and elsewhere to preserve market competition.

The Missouri Gaming Commission and the Illinois Gaming Board would have to approve any transfer of control of any casino in their jurisdictions.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Business Journal

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