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Pinnacle gets a reprieve on issue of repairing the President casino

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – A Missouri appeals court has ruled that the state's gaming regulators did not follow their own processes when they ruled in July that the struggling President Casino could not be repaired or moved without a new license.

The ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District does not say that the Missouri Gaming Commission reached the wrong conclusion. It says that Pinnacle was not afforded due process rights in front of the Commission

The casino sits aboard the historic Admiral riverboat, which is widely expected to fail its hull re-certification in July 2010. In January 2009, the President's owner, Pinnacle Entertainment, informed the Commission it intended to repair or replace the hull, and possibly move the casino to higher ground. In August, the company applied to amend its license to allow the move, which the Commission rejected, saying that would require Pinnacle to apply for a new license.

In the ruling issued Tuesday, the court ruled that because the Commission appeared to take action against Pinnacle's license for the President, Pinnacle had the right to appear at a formal hearing.

Tuesday's ruling does not touch on the Commission's efforts to strip the President's license because of falling revenues, an action Pinnacle is also appealing.

Read Tuesday's ruling here