Two Indiana casinos will soon be under new ownership. Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PNK), which owns Ameristar Casino and Hotel in East Chicago and Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, is set to be acquired by Penn National Gaming Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) in a $2.8 billion deal.
As a result of the deal announced Monday, Penn National Gaming will take over operation of the East Chicago casino and 11 other Pinnacle properties. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of 2018.
Penn National has also entered into an agreement with Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD) in Las Vegas, in which Boyd will purchase four Pinnacle properties for $575 million, including the Belterra casino in Switzerland County.
"The combined company will benefit from enhanced scale, additional growth opportunities and best-in-class operations, creating a more efficient integrated gaming company," said Timothy Wilmot, chief executive officer of Penn National. "We look forward to welcoming Pinnacle’s talented employees to our team and to further enhancing our status as North America’s leading regional gaming operator."
This is the second acquisition involving Indiana casinos announced this year. Last month, Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq: CZR) detailed plans to acquire Centaur Holdings, which owns Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, in a $1.7 billion deal.