Pinnacle is fighting for Missouri license

Jan 26, 2010 3:41 AM


Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.’s (PNK) efforts to salvage its gaming license for President Casino in St. Louis, Missouri, may end on Wednesday.

The Missouri Gaming Commission is expected to revoke the license at its Wednesday meeting with the intention of having the boat cease operations by July.

In a letter to Pinnacle Entertainment CEO John Giovenco, the Commission wrote: Pinnacle has continued to operate the President at an unacceptable level through a deliberate minimization of offerings with a resulting decline in performance. We…are no longer able to allow the licensure of an obsolete and underachieving gaming facility in the State of Missouri."

The controversy has been going on for months. Pinnacle wanted to move the aging Admiral riverboat to anther location and replace it with a more modern facility. During that period, however said regulators, the license would not be protected and would be put out to bid.

Pinnacle Entertainment then advised regulators it planned to repair the boat in its present location.

"It has become abundantly clear," said the commission letter, "Pinnacle intends to hold on to the President’s license as long as possible with no intention of improving its operations."

The company responded by filing a petition with the Missouri Court of Appeals seeking a stay of the board’s proceedings.

Pinnacle Entertainment also operates the spectacular downtown property Lumiere Place and plans to open another facility in nearby Lemay, called River City Casino, in March.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Ray Poirier