Retama Park

Retama Park

Courtesy of Retama Park

Regulator Approves Pinnacle's Retama Purchase

Nevada-based company said it will push for added gaming at Texas tracks.

The Texas Racing Commission Dec. 18 approved Nevada-based Pinnacle Entertainment's request to purchase 75.5% of the racing assets of Retama Park in San Antonio.

Pinnacle will receive a 75.5% share of the racing license for $22.8 million.

When the sale becomes final, Retama would be the second racetrack purchase for Pinnacle, which bought River Downs in 2010. The company also owns casino properties in Louisiana, Missouri, and Indiana. River Downs is in the process of adding slot machines. When Pinnacle announced plans to become majority owner of Retama in the spring, Pinnacle president Anthony Sanfilippo said the company would push for added gaming.

"The Retama Park transactions provide Pinnacle with the opportunity to expand our portfolio of properties, diversify our operating base, and provide strategic value for our shareholders," Sanfilippo said. "Upon closing we will immediately begin work to integrate Retama Park into our portfolio of properties and leverage our operational and marketing expertise to bolster the track's performance.

"We believe Retama Park provides significant strategic value for our shareholders given the potential approval of gaming entertainment centers at Texas pari-mutuel facilities, and by expanding the reach of Pinnacle's operations in the region into two key Texas markets, San Antonio and Austin."

Officials from Pinnacle and Retama Park expect the transition to be completed by Feb. 1.