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President Casino to close by July 1

March 17, 2010

ST. LOUIS - Pinnacle Entertainment announced Wednesday it will close the aging President Casino riverboat by July 1. The decision follows a long battle to keep from closing it.

John V. Giovenco, interim CEO of Pinnacle, said in a statement "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."

Lumiere Place is Pinnacle's huge downtown casino located within a few hundred yards of the President. Lumiere Place revenues in 2009 were $181.1 million compared to $23.3 million for the President.

River City opened earlier this month and is the seventh casino in the greater St. Louis area.

The closure of the President leaves one of Missouri's 13 gambling licenses available for another casino. Missouri voters capped the total number of licenses in the 2008 election. The relinquished license can now be issued to any site on the Missouri or Mississippi rivers.

Jim Mathewson, chairman of the Gaming Commission, said "We will be accepting applications for wherever from the state of Missouri, and will be evaluating those, and that includes Pinnacle. We're not prohibiting them; in fact, we'd encourage them to do it".
 

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