Pinnacle Entertainment will sell the Ameristar Lake Charles casino-hotel, now under construction in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Houston-based Landry’s Inc., owner of the Golden Nugget. The deal is part of a settlement reached with the Federal Trade Commission allowing Pinnacle to purchase Ameristar Casinos for .8 billion.
The FTC had raised concerns in May that the buyout could impact competition in the Missouri and Louisiana casino markets. As a result, Pinnacle agreed to sell the Ameristar Lake Charles property plus its Lumiere Place casino and two hotels in downtown St. Louis. The Lake Charles sale to Golden Nugget requires the approval of the FTC.
Under the deal, Golden Nugget will pay for all development costs for Ameristar Lake Charles through the closing date of the sale. Golden Nugget also will assume all outstanding costs owed on the development at that time. The arrangement also includes a $37 million credit to Golden Nugget. Ameristar said as of June 30 it had spent $213.9 million on the project, which has an estimated budget of $580 million.
Golden Nugget officials said the company would complete the hotel-casino complex, located on a 242-acre site adjacent to Pinnacle’s existing L’Auberge Lake Charles, and open next year. The project is the last gaming license allowed in Louisiana.