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Casino acquisition approved by Louisiana Gaming Control Board

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the body charged with overseeing and regulating the state's gaming industry, has approved the acquisition of Creative Casinos by Ameristar. The casino, which has yet to be built, will now be named Ameristar Lake Charles and is expected to open in approximately two years. It must open before July 2014 per the conditions of the license.

Creative Casinos had been in the process of developing a casino project for the area and had gone so far as to acquire all of the necessary permits and construction contracts, as well as have the necessary referendums passed. Their only deficit came from the ability to properly finance the project, which is when Creative Casino's CEO presented the project to Ameristar's board. The deal between the two organizations appears to be a friendly acquisition without any commercial litigation between the two parties. Ameristar is reported to have paid approximately $32.5 million.

The casino is expected to be a source of economic growth for the area. To start, the casino's construction will lead to the generation of a significant amount of jobs. Construction is expected to begin before July 20, another condition of the license. Another notably important element of the license is that the project must bring in an investment of at least $500 million.

Considering the long-term economic growth of the project, the casino will likely have large staffing needs. Ameristar is currently in the process of working with local educational and training programs to ensure that there are employees trained for positions when it opens.

Provided that the project continues without complications, the deal between Ameristar and Creative Casinos could prove to be an example of a friendly acquisition that provides benefits for the members of both organizations.

Source: KPLC, "Ameristar Lake Charles approved," Theresa Schmidt, June 21, 2012

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