Louisiana Gaming Control Board Approves Acquisition of Ameristar Casinos by Pinnacle Entertainment

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LAS VEGAS, July 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE:PNK) announced today that the Louisiana Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the Company's proposed acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. and the transfer of interest in the Ameristar Casino Lake Charles development project. Completion of the transaction remains subject to the receipt of additional required regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Anthony Sanfilippo, Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, commented, "We thank the Louisiana Gaming Control Board for its diligence in reviewing and approving our proposed acquisition of Ameristar Casinos and for permitting the transfer of interests in the Ameristar Casino Lake Charles development project. This clearance represents one of the last two remaining state regulatory agency approvals needed to complete the acquisition, while also paving the regulatory path necessary for us to ultimately divest Ameristar's Lake Charles development project and address the Federal Trade Commission's anti-trust concerns in that market. Consideration of the acquisition and related matters will be on the agenda at next week's Missouri Gaming Commission meeting, and if approval is obtained, we will have the last remaining state regulatory agency clearance in hand.

"Since reaching an agreement in principle on proposed divestiture remedies with the FTC's Bureau of Competition staff in June, we have made significant progress in negotiating a formal consent order. We anticipate a consent order that details the terms and conditions of the required divestitures in Lake Charles and St. Louis to be approved by the FTC in early August. Subject to receiving Missouri Gaming Commission approval, finalizing the consent order with the FTC and other customary closing conditions, we expect to complete the transaction in August 2013," Mr. Sanfilippo concluded.

About Pinnacle Entertainment

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates seven casinos, located in Louisiana, Missouri, and Indiana, and a racetrack in Ohio. In addition, Pinnacle is redeveloping River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio into a gaming entertainment facility, owns a minority interest in Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd., an international development and real estate company currently developing Vietnam's first large-scale integrated resort on the Ho Tram Strip, and holds a majority interest in the racing license owner, as well as a management contract, for Retama Park Racetrack outside of San Antonio, Texas.

On December 20, 2012, Pinnacle agreed to acquire Ameristar Casinos, Inc. in an all cash transaction valued at $26.50 per Ameristar share or total consideration of $2.8 billion including assumed debt. Ameristar owns and operates casino facilities in St. Charles near St. Louis, Mo.; Kansas City, Mo.; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Black Hawk, Colo.; Vicksburg, Miss.; East Chicago, Ind.; and the Jackpot properties in Jackpot, Nev.

Important Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on Pinnacle's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements regarding the completion of the transaction. There is no assurance that the potential transaction will be consummated, and there are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made herein. These risks and uncertainties include (a) the timing to consummate a potential transaction between Pinnacle and Ameristar may be delayed based on circumstances beyond Pinnacle's control, including the ability of Pinnacle to reach a resolution with the Federal Trade Commission ("Commission"); (b) the ability and timing to complete the dispositions proposed as part of the effort to reach a resolution with the Commission; (c) the ability and timing to obtain required regulatory approvals and satisfy or waive other closing conditions; (d) the possibility that the merger does not close when expected or at all, or that the companies may be required to modify aspects of the merger to achieve regulatory approval; (e) the requirement to satisfy closing conditions to the merger as set forth in the merger agreement; (f) Pinnacle's ability to obtain financing on the terms expected, or at all; and (g) the risk factors disclosed in Pinnacle's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, which Pinnacle filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 1, 2013 and in all reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Pinnacle subsequent to the filing of the Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012. Forward-looking statements reflect Pinnacle's analysis as of the date of this press release. Pinnacle does not undertake to revise these statements to reflect subsequent developments, except as required under the federal securities laws. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Investor Relations Vincent J. Zahn, CFA Vice President, Finance and Investor Relations 702/541-7777 or investors@pnkmail.com Media Relations Kerry Andersen Director, Public Relations 337/395-7631 or kandersen@pnkmail.com

Source:Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.