FTC Seeks Public Comment on Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.’s Application to Divest One of Its Casinos in St. Louis, Missouri, to Tropicana St. Louis LLC

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on an application by Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. for approval to divest its Lumiere Place Casino, two hotels, and all associated assets in St. Louis, Missouri, to Tropicana St. Louis LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tropicana Entertainment, Inc. In a proposed order, the FTC requires Pinnacle to divest these assets to a Commission-approved buyer to resolve charges that Pinnacle’s acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. would reduce competition among casinos in St. Louis, in violation of the antitrust laws.  The order also requires Pinnacle to divest casino assets in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Pinnacle previously submitted an application to divest those assets to GNLC Holdings.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Pinnacle’s acquisition of Ameristar would result in increased prices and lower quality for casino customers in the St. Louis and Lake Charles areas. Pinnacle and Ameristar are direct competitors in St. Louis, where both own casinos, and in the Lake Charles area, where they would compete beginning in 2014 after the opening of Ameristar’s new casino.  In its current application, Pinnacle requests FTC approval to sell all assets associated with its Lumiere Place Casino in St. Louis to Tropicana.

The Commission will decide whether to approve the proposed divestiture after expiration of the public comment period.  Public comments may be submitted until October 24, 2013.  Written comments should be sent to:  FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580.  Comments also can be submitted electronically.  Copies of the application also can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release.  (FTC File No. 131-0064, Docket No. 9355; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see related press release dated August 12, 2013)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action.  To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to [email protected], or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001.  To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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