Pinnacle looking to fix The Admiral and Keep the President casino put

Casino Watch Focus has been reporting on the possibility of a new casino in the Spanish Lakes region of North St Louis.  The only way a new casino would even be possible would be if the President Casino were not allowed to remain open due to the condition of the Admiral, a move the Missouri Gaming Commission seemed to believe would be the case. Now its being reported by the St Louis Post Dispatch that Pinnacle is planning to fix the Admiral to a safe level and not attempt to move its location:

Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns the money-losing casino on Laclede’s Landing, said Thursday that it plans to refurbish the aging Admiral riverboat, on which the casino sits, and keep it docked downtown. The move would appear to prevent a high-stakes scrum for the President’s valuable gaming license.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, Pinnacle said it now plans to repair the boat prior to a hull inspection due next July, and that the repairs should be enough to keep the Admiral in service.

This move is a clear contradiction to statements made by Pinnacle, but not one that is openly being blocked by the Missouri Gaming Commission.  The Post Dispatch explains:

Since 2006, when they bought the President for $45 million as part of their plans to build Lumière Place, company officials have said time and again that fixing the hull was not feasible. For a time last year, it floated a plan to move the boat north, to the Chain of Rocks Bridge. But state gaming regulators rebuffed that plan. As recently as July, Pinnacle said it wanted to replace the Admiral with a newer riverboat it owns, not repair it.

Pinnacle appealed, charging that the Gaming Commission had all but stripped its license — which expires in 2011 — without due process. And earlier this month, attorneys for the state opened a door to repairs, saying the condition of the hull is not for them to decide. “That is between Pinnacle and (the inspectors),” the lawyers wrote in a court filing in the case, which is still being considered in state appeals court. “The Commission is not attempting to prohibit Pinnacle from repairing its hull.”

The Gaming Commission may still need to approve the move, but their intentions are currently unknown as they declined to comment given the current lawsuit.  Keep reading Casino Watch Focus for updates on this situation.

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