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September 20, 2012

Pinnacle Entertainment Foundation Donates $80,000 to National Hurricane Museum & Science Center

Funds to be Utilized by McNeese State University to Create National Education Initiative in Conjunction With Development of Downtown Lake Charles Museum

LAKE CHARLES, La., Sept. 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. and L'Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles today announced an $80,000 donation to the National Hurricane Museum & Science Center (NHMSC) via the Pinnacle Entertainment Foundation. This large early pledge to the project, slated for the lakefront in downtown Lake Charles, is earmarked to develop a first of its kind national education initiative.

The National Hurricane Museum & Science Center, as its name suggests, is part museum and part educational center offering interactive and immersive learning experiences to explore the science and impacts of hurricanes. Pinnacle's donation will fund the work of McNeese State University's Burton School of Education to create and promote programs and lesson plans to school systems and educators across the country to inform and inspire students even before the center itself is built.

"We are proud to call Lake Charles home and this donation and early partnership with the National Hurricane Museum reinforces our commitment to making our community a diversified tourist destination," said Geno M. Iafrate, Executive Vice President of Regional Operations for Pinnacle. "What makes this initiative even more exciting is that it will come from collaboration with expert educators at McNeese State University and will have immediate impact while eventually inspiring learning across the entire country."

"This donation is a significant part of our continued commitment to create a rewarding place for our team members to work in a community we have pledged to support and uplift in ways that make our team proud to call it home," said Keith W. Henson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of L'Auberge Lake Charles. He adds, "Just as our properties offer a memorable place for visitors to play, this partnership will ultimately boost tourism in Southwest Louisiana and improve quality of life for our 2,200+ team members."

"Pinnacle has demonstrated time and time again they are significantly invested in the region and this early show of support to NHMSC will fuel our commitment to move forward with the project but also to begin instructing a nation of students about hurricanes and their aftereffects, beginning today," said Gray Stream, NHMSC Board Chairman. "This gift from the Pinnacle Entertainment Foundation is really an investment in education and enables the NHMSC to reach millions of students with important lessons they can study in their classrooms all across America."

The $80,000 contribution comes on the heels of Pinnacle donating four acres of lakefront property to the City of Lake Charles with a fair market value of $3.2-million, a $20,000 contribution to rebuild Millennium Park in downtown Lake Charles and hundreds of thousands of dollars in sustained charitable initiatives across the region. L'Auberge Casino Resort is the largest private employer in Calcasieu Parish and Pinnacle Entertainment now employs more than 5,000 team members statewide.  

The NHMSC is expected to attract 220,000 visitors to Southwest Louisiana each year and have a $55-million total annual economic impact. Visitors to www.nhmsc.com can learn more about the $65-million facility and preview exhibits planned for the museum and science center. The website also features information on the origins and background of the project and videos of the iconic building design.

About Pinnacle Entertainment

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates seven casinos, located in Louisiana, Missouri, and Indiana, and a racetrack in Ohio. In addition, Pinnacle holds a 26% ownership stake in Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd. (ACDL), an international development and real estate company currently developing Vietnam's first large-scale integrated resort on the Ho Tram Strip.

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PNK.  To learn more about Pinnacle Entertainment, please visit www.pnkinc.com.

The Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=13121

About The Pinnacle Entertainment Foundation

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. has built its success on a foundation of community involvement and support. Through our highly visible foundation, we are proud to lend a helping hand in the communities where our team members live and work by donating our time, talent and treasure to worthy causes. Founded in 2010, The Pinnacle Entertainment Foundation welcomes all applications by financially stable, well-managed organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Applications are accepted at www.pnkinc.com/pinnacle-entertainment-foundation.

The Pinnacle Entertainment Foundation logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=14794

About NHMSC

The National Hurricane Museum & Science Center (a 501c-3 non-profit), as its name suggests, is a hybrid organization: part museum because it will chronicle the history and social meanings of hurricanes through collections and archives; and part science center because it will use interactive and immersive educational experiences to explore the science and impacts of hurricanes as powerful forces of nature. To be located on the waterfront of Lake Charles, Louisiana, this center will be an irresistible destination for the entire Gulf region. Utilizing the science of hurricanes, the NHMSC will work with K-12 schools to stimulate the learning of basic math and science. Through practical and engaging education, the NHMSC will tell the natural and social story of hurricanes and the wetlands environment while delivering memorable experiences to thousands of visitors. For more information visit www.nhmsc.com.  

CONTACT: Pinnacle Entertainment

         Kerry Andersen

         Director, Media Relations & Public Affairs

         337/292-0725 or kandersen@pnkmail.com

         

         NHMSC

         Jill Kidder

         Project Coordinator

         225/803-7033, jill.kidder@nhmsc.com


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