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Why Billion-Dollar Buyer Tilman Fertitta Is Betting Big on Las Vegas by David G. Schwartz

It’s possible to win (or lose) a ton of money playing baccarat in Las Vegas. You can even win multi-million dollar jackpots on some slot machines. But the real big money that’s coming to play in Las Vegas these days isn’t on the casino floor. It’s on the trading floor, as merger mania sweeps through the gaming industry. And Tilman Fertitta, the world’s richest restaurateur is betting that Las Vegas and casinos are in for sustained growth, which means we should all take note.

Fertitta has plenty on his plate. Currently #153 on the Forbes 400, the Texas-based ($4.6) billionaire owns Landry’s, Inc., a restaurant/hospitality giant with more than 60 brands spread across over 600 locations. He also owns Golden Nugget Casinos, which operates hotel casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Laughlin, Nevada, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi. And last year he bought the NBA’s Houston Rockets. Add to that chairing the University of Houston system’s Board of Regents and starring in his own reality TV series, and it’s clear that this is a man who has to pick his projects carefully, a man who is not hurting for investment ideas.

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