Pinnacle Entertainment last month celebrated the opening of its new 5 million River City Casino near St. Louis, Missouri, with champagne, red carpets and women costumed in riverboat regalia of a bygone age. A week later, the company agreed to close the President Casino in St. Louis and relinquish the license.
About 400 guests were invited to the soft opening that included the ceremony of the executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission officially presenting the casino with its license.
“I was in awe. It’s a beautiful facility. Very well done,” observed commission Chairman Jim Mathewson earlier in the week.
The Lemay casino, one of the largest in the St. Louis area, has 2,100 slot machines and 55 tables of blackjack, poker and craps. Its décor recalls the 1904 World’s Fair that was held in St. Louis. A hotel may be added in a $75 million second phase. It is expected to bring in about $17 million a month in revenue.
One week later, the company agreed to close the President Casino, adjacent to Lumiere Place, and give up the license. The commission will auction the license. The company will close the old riverboat casino by July 1.
Pinnacle had fought an earlier decision by the Missouri Gaming Commission to close the casino, and even won a court decision that ordered the commission to look at it again. However, in a statement, the company’s interim CEO John V. Giovenco commented, “It is in the best interests of our shareholders and our company to settle this issue. We intend to focus on maximizing shareholder value at Lumiere Place and our new River City Casino.”