Why Billion-Dollar Buyer Tilman Fertitta Is Betting Big on Las Vegas

My most recent Forbes post examines why Tilman Fertitta is interested in expanding his Las Vegas footprint. The pending departure of Caesars CEO Mark Frissora makes this only more intriguing.

It’s no secret that Las Vegas has had its challenges this year. So when, earlier this month, billion dollar buyer Fertitta proposed a merger with casino giant Caesars Entertainment that would leave him in charge, Vegas insiders took notice. Overnight, the $13 per share offer sparked Caesars stock, which has been slumping. But when news trickled out that the Caesars board would reject the merger offer, the stock price slipped again. Combined with Affinity Gaming owner Z Capital Partner’s offer to buy regional gaming operator Full House Resorts, Fertitta’s latest move is evidence that gaming is still a major growth industry. Neither of these buyouts were accepted, but this is most likely just the opening salvo. Where there is a $1.79/share offer, a higher offer isn’t too far off, and if it’s just a matter of price rather than principle, noted economic theorist Ted DiBiase summed it up best by saying that, “everybody’s got a price.”

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