The President Casino closes early due to flood waters, but key issues remain unresolved

Casino Watch Focus has reported that Pinnacle Entertainment made a deal to close the President Casino, which would leave the 13th casino license up for grabs.  The President was scheduled to close July 1, however, The St Louis Business Journal is reporting that the casino was forced to close early due to flooding:

It’s official: the President Casino aboard the Admiral riverboat along the Mississippi River has closed for good. The owner of the Laclede’s Landing casino, Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment, has planned to close the President this Tuesday after receiving pressure from gaming regulators about the property’s poor financial performance. But the casino was shut down June 17 due to floodwaters, and operators announced Thursday that they would not reopen it.

Even though the casino has closed, the Casino has still not reached an agreement with the company’s employees.  The St Louis Post Dispatch explained:

The other piece of unfinished business involves the President’s roughly 200 remaining employees. Pinnacle and the union that represents some of them are in talks about severance packages or job opportunities at the company’s other two local casinos. But no deal has been reached.

The workers are planning a rally outside the President on Monday, what they thought would be its last day. Now, they will be rallying outside a boat that is empty for good.

The other unresolved issue involves the fate of the Admiral riverboat.  The Post Dispatch continued:

Its engines have been gone since 1979 and it needed last-minute welding even to open as a casino 16 years ago. Pinnacle would have had to spend millions fixing the hull to pass an inspection due this summer.

Now, without the revenue generated by a casino operation, it is hard to envision how the boat might be preserved, said Jeff Mansell, executive director of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, which named the Admiral to its “11 Most Endangered” list this year.

“You have to look at the expense, and it’s going to be tremendous,” he said. “It’s a unique resource. With it comes unique opportunities, but also unique problems.”

Mansell said he hasn’t heard of any proposals to buy and fix up the Admiral. A spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay said City Hall hasn’t heard much either. Pinnacle, which owns the boat, said it has a few preliminary meetings set up, but doesn’t know yet what it will do. “We’re still looking into it,” said spokesman Mack Bradley. “We obviously hope to have a decision soon.”

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