Golden Nugget, Inc.

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For the predecessor companies and owners see Golden Nugget Companies (1973-1989) and Mirage Resorts (1989-2000)

Golden Nugget, Inc. (Formerly Poster Financial Group) is a Las Vegas, Nevada based private investment firm that was originally created by Timothy Poster and Thomas Breitling to acquire the Golden Nugget Las Vegas and the Golden Nugget Laughlin.

Owners and acquisition history[edit]

When the company was founded as Poster Financial Group the company's principals were Timothy Poster and Thomas Breitling, two young (mid-30s) entrepreneurs who started Travelscape.com, an internet travel site. Tennis star Andre Agassi, a Las Vegas native, was also an investor.

Poster and Breitling had no casino ownership experience before acquiring the Golden Nugget. They faced some difficulty in obtaining the necessary casino licenses because of their friendship with Rick Rizzolo, a strip club owner being investigated by the FBI and because of Timothy Poster's uncle who was denied a gaming license because of his alleged association with known illegal bookmakers. The Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended that they be licensed for only one year. The board did however, issue them four-year licenses, with an option to apply for permanent licenses in January 2005.

The Poster Financial Group's ownership encountered some difficulties. The television series received ratings below expectations and was canceled after one season. In addition, the strategy of attracting higher level casino player created significant volatility in the first year of operations.

History[edit]

In January 2004 the Golden Nugget, Las Vegas and the Golden Nugget, Laughlin were acquired for approximately $215 million.

When Poster and Breitling assumed control of the Golden Nugget, they began to upgrade the gambling operation, by installing new "cashless" slot machines and increasing the maximum bet at table games to $15,000. Their story became the basis for The Casino, a television series on Fox, which premiered on June 14, 2004.

On November 10, 2004 Barrick Gaming Corporation, which owns casino/hotels in downtown Las Vegas including The Plaza, The Vegas Club, The Western, and The Gold Spike, announced that it would acquire the Golden Nugget Laughlin for $31 million plus working capital. As part of the purchase agreement, Poster Financial granted Barrick a two-year limited use of the Golden Nugget brand name, after which Barrick will be required to change the name of the property.

On February 4, 2005, Houston, Texas based Landry's Restaurants, Inc. agreed to purchase the Golden Nugget Las Vegas for $140 million in cash plus the assumption of $155 million of Senior Secured Notes due in 2011 and certain working capital liabilities.

On May 31, 2005 the agreement for Barrick Gaming to acquire the Golden Nugget Laughlin expired without a final deal being reached. As a result, Landry's will acquire this property as part of its agreement to purchase the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. Apparently there will be no increase in the purchase price as a result of this change since the money from the sale would have been used to reduce the debt on the Las Vegas property. This means that Landry's would simply assume more debt.

On September 27, 2005 Landry's completed the acquisition of Poster Financial for approximately $318 million.

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