Pinnacle Entertainment ( PNK) says its CEO resigned "to pursue other business interests." We think his big mouth got him thrown out of the casino. Daniel Lee stepped down as the gaming company's CEO and chairman Monday, barely a week after he allegedly confronted a St. Louis County Council member who voted in favor of a rival company's expansion plans. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which performs investigations for the Missouri Gaming Commission, said it is looking into Lee's actions. Pinnacle owns two casinos in downtown St. Louis and is developing a third in St. Louis County to open next year.
Las Vegas-based Pinnacle said Richard Goeglein will be interim chairman and John Giovenco interim CEO. Both are currently on its board. Hopefully, each can control his emotions better than Lee. According to The Associated Press Lee reportedly asked County Council member Steve Stenger to vote against a zoning issue for a casino being developed in the county by a competitor. Stenger voted in favor of it, however, sending Lee through the roof. The casino big-wig approached the council platform -- while the meeting was still in session mind you -- and told Stenger's assistant that her boss made a grave error and that he wouldn't forget the councilman's betrayal. "It's one thing to come in and ask for something," Stenger said Monday. "It's another to come in and pressure someone and then make threats when you don't get what you want." And performance has been left wanting of late at Pinnacle, which may have contributed to Lee losing it in public. The casino operator lost $21.9 million in its fiscal third quarter, compared with a loss of $11.8 million a year earlier. You would think by now Lee would know how to take a loss in stride. It doesn't take a casino CEO to know that you won't be playing very long if you insult the dealer. Dumb-o-meter score: 90 -- He used to be the pit boss, now he's the pits.