– Expects to Complete Purchase of Southeast Cincinnati Racetrack This Month –

– Names Seasoned Pinnacle Executive, Kevin Kaufman, General Manager of River Downs –

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: PNK) announced that, following today’s approval from the Ohio State Racing Commission, it expects to complete its previously announced acquisition of River Downs Racetrack in southeast Cincinnati, Ohio by the end of this month.  Pinnacle expects to fund the $45 million acquisition with cash on hand.

In connection with its planned acquisition of River Downs, Pinnacle has named industry veteran, Kevin Kaufman, General Manager of the racetrack pending regulatory approval and completion of the acquisition.  Kaufman, who most recently served as General Manager of Pinnacle’s Belterra Casino Resort in Indiana, will oversee all day-to-day operations of the racetrack, as well as the transition of the property into Pinnacle’s operations.  Kaufman will report to Carlos Ruisanchez, Pinnacle’s Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Development, who led the Company’s initiatives to acquire River Downs.

Anthony Sanfilippo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, commented, “We appreciate the efforts of the Ohio State Racing Commission in their timely review and approval of our racing license application and look forward to completing the acquisition of River Downs Racetrack later this month.  The planned acquisition would position Pinnacle to benefit if video lottery terminals (VLTs) at Ohio’s racetracks become operational.  If VLTs become operational in Ohio, we plan to move quickly to invest in and revitalize River Downs to develop a new gaming, racing and entertainment destination facility for the Cincinnati market.  We also continue to review and analyze other opportunities to expand our operating base into attractive markets by leveraging the liquidity and strength of our balance sheet for return-focused growth opportunities such as River Downs.”

Mr. Sanfilippo continued, “Kevin has been a valued member of the Belterra management team for more than nine years, helping to develop and maintain Belterra’s unique appeal as an entertainment resort for the region.  His many years of casino entertainment experience in the greater Cincinnati market will enable Pinnacle to quickly implement best-in-class practices at River Downs in order to enhance the facility’s existing operations while continuing to deliver an exciting racing experience.”

Kevin Kaufman joined Pinnacle in 2001 and has served the last four years as General Manager of the Company’s Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana, which is approximately an hour southwest of Cincinnati.  Prior to his appointment as General Manager, he served as Senior Director of Casino Operations and Director of Casino Operations at the property.  Mr. Kaufman began his career in the casino entertainment industry at Harveys Casino Resorts and held various management roles there including as Director of Casino Operations at Harveys Council Bluffs.

River Downs Racetrack, located directly off of Interstate 275 in southeast Cincinnati, recently celebrated its 85th anniversary of thoroughbred racing.  One of North America’s most picturesque racecourses, the track is situated on approximately 155 acres of land, 35 of which are currently undeveloped, and offers live thoroughbred racing from mid-April through Labor Day as well as simulcast wagering throughout the year broadcast on more than 500 monitors throughout the facility.  River Downs features a Grandstand with open-air seating, the Pavillion which includes seating for 50 to 300 guests as well as a private bar and grill, and the Turf Terrace in the upper Clubhouse with tableside monitors, a bar, buffet options and formal seating.

About Pinnacle Entertainment

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates a total of seven casinos, located in Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana and Nevada.  The Company is also developing a casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that is currently scheduled to open in December 2011.

All statements included in this press release, other than historical information or statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the anticipated closing of the purchase of River Downs Racetrack and the possibility for video lottery terminals (VLTs) to become operational at Ohio racetracks, are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that could significantly affect future results. Accordingly, Pinnacle cautions that the forward-looking statements contained herein are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by such statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (a) the Company may experience delays in completing the transaction or fail to complete the transaction due to circumstances beyond its control; (b) there is no assurance that VLTs will become operational at Ohio’s racetracks; and (c) other risks, including those as may be detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). For more information on the potential factors that could affect the Company’s business and financial results, review the Company’s filings with the SEC, including, but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and its Current Reports on Form 8-K.

Belterra and River City are registered trademarks of Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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