NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Pinnacle Entertainment's (PNK) - Get Report $2.8 billion merger, including debt, with Ameristar Casinos (ASCA) received unanimous approval by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board Thursday, July 18.

The final state regulatory approval is now the Missouri Gaming Commission. The license transfer is on the Missouri agenda for its July 24 meeting for presentations and public comment. The commission could also rule at that meeting.

Besides the state gaming agencies, the Federal Trade Commission must also approve the transaction. The companies have been in discussions with the FTC regarding detailed terms and conditions of proposed divestitures and a consent order are expected to be finalized and approved by the FTC by early August.

The FTC had filed an administrative complaint against the merger and pending the consent order resolving the agency's concerns, Pinnacle has extended its deadline for a response to the complaint to July 31. Commitments from lenders for the debt for the merger are due July 29.

-- Written by Scott Stuart in New York