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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Pinnacle Entertainment to acquire Ohio racetrack

14 January 2011

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The Ohio State Racing Commission approved plans Thursday by Pinnacle Entertainment to acquire the River Downs Racetrack in southeast Cincinnati by the end of this month.

Las Vegas-based Pinnacle, a regional casino operator, said it would fund the $45 million acquisition through available cash.

Pinnacle Chief Executive Officer Anthony Sanfilippo said the deal could allow the company to open a casino with video lottery terminals at the racetrack if Ohio clears the use of more than 17,000 slot machines at the state's horse-racing facilities.

"We plan to move quickly to invest in and revitalize River Downs to develop a new gaming, racing and entertainment destination facility for the Cincinnati market." Sanfilippo said.

Penn National Gaming shares fell 34 cents, or 0.97 percent, Thursday to close at $34.76 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.