The Nevada Gaming Control Board last month declined to issue a finding of suitability for Tim Poster, the former co-owner of the Golden Nugget casino in Downtown Las Vegas and also a former executive with Wynn Resorts. Poster resigned last year from Wynn and also from Ultimate Gaming, the online gaming arm of Station Casinos, after an investigation into his background revealed questionable relationships and illegal sports betting.
Along with now-Chairman of Ultimate Gaming Tom Breitling, Poster founded Travelscape, one of the first internet travel sites, later selling it at a huge profit to Expedia. The two then purchased the Golden Nugget, working a deal for a reality show on the Fox Network about running the casino. The show lasted just one season. They later sold the hotel to Landry’s Restaurant owner Tilman Fertitta.
Poster had been hired in a casino marketing position for Wynn Las Vegas and was briefly named COO, while also involved with Ultimate Gaming. He had applied for a license for those positions when a GCB investigation revealed that he had continued a relationship with convicted strip club owner Rick Rizzolo, who has reputed ties to organized crime. Poster says Rizzolo was a good customer at the Golden Nugget but attempted to sever the relationship.
Meanwhile, the investigation discovered that Poster had made huge sports bets—$100,000 or more—with an illegal offshore sports book, Pinnacle Sports, which has since been taken down by federal agents and its executives indicted. Poster denied allegations that he had been an agent for Pinnacle, despite the fact that he often included friends in his wagers with Pinnacle.
After a four-and-a-half hour grilling, the board unanimously rejected Poster’s request for suitability. However, they stopped short of banning him outright from gaming, allowing him to continue to seek work in the industry in a consulting capacity that did not require licensing.