Stockholders for Ameristar Casino on Thursday approved the casino's acquisition by rival Pinnacle Entertainment.
The vote furthered the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second or third quarter of this year, according to a joint news release.
If the acquisition is completed, Pinnacle will acquire Ameristar in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.50 per Ameristar share, or $2.8 billion including assumed debt.
Aside from its East Chicago location, Ameristar owns and operates casinos in Missouri, Iowa, Colorado, Mississippi, Louisiana and Nevada. Pinnacle owns and operates casinos in Louisiana, Missouri and Indiana, as well as a race track in Ohio.
About 99.8 percent of the shares voting Thursday voted in favor of the agreement and plan of merger. These shares represented about 81.6 percent of the total outstanding shares of Ameristar common stock as of the March 22 record date for the meeting, according to the release.
In a December conference call, Pinnacle CEO Anthony Sanfilippo said Pinnacle will stay with current branding for the casinos it acquires for "at least the foreseeable future." That means the Ameristar name should stay on the East Chicago casino for the time being.
Pinnacle executives on the call also said the new casinos their company will acquire in St. Louis and Indiana will give it new geographical reach in the Midwest, and specifically mentioned Chicago.
Also in December, Ameristar spokeswoman Roxanne Kincaid said it would be "business as usual" at the East Chicago location during the acquisition process.