Changes are afoot at St. Louis area casinos.
The Missouri Gaming Commission approved Pinnacle Entertainment's plan to buy Ameristar Casinos. Pinnacle will buy the St. Charles and Kansas City casinos. Pinnacle is the current owner of Lumiere Place and River City Casino. They now have to sell Lumiere to meet federal regulators' requirements.
Pinnacle hopes to secure a buyer in the coming weeks.
It looks like the last of the safeguards Missouri legislators had initially placed on casinos could soon be tossed out.
A bill now before the Senate would let the state’s 13 casinos issue short-term loans to gamblers, secured by the gamblers' bank accounts. The measure easily won approval in the state house last month.
Casino executives say they need to be able to provide credit in order to attract high-end gamers who don't want to carry large amounts of cash.
The measure would repeal the last of the safeguards that were in the original state law voters passed in 1992 when they legalized riverboat gambling. The rule requiring riverboat casinos to actually be on a boat on a river, and $500 loss limits have already been repealed.