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Pinnacle to close President Casino on the Admiral

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Pinnacle Entertainment has agreed to terms with the Missouri Gaming Commission to close the President Casino on the St. Louis riverfront.

At a joint press conference Wednesday, Pinnacle agreed to surrender its gaming license and close the casino by July 1st.

Pinnacle was facing disciplinary action for failing to make upgrades to the casino and the aging Admiral riverboat. Pinnacle Executive Vice President Jack Godfrey says the company has decided to focus its efforts on its remaining two properties in St. Louis-Lumiere Place and the new River City Casino.

"But at this point we've decided that our shareholders are best served by us concentrating on our remaining two operations. And we're not really hear to talk about the procedures that let up to this, we're here to move forward."

Pinnacle did not want to surrender its valuable gaming license despite the fact the President was moored just blocks away from its newer Lumiere Place. Gaming Commission Chair Jim Mathewson says the situation was just not working.

"Look around the state of Missouri at the existing licenses and expect you're not going to find another situation like this, with two licenses right next door to each other, basically competing with each other," Mathewson said.

Pinnacle did not say what it will do with the historic Admiral Riverboat.

The casino employs about 200 people and accounts for some $2 million in city revenue per year.