Tilman Fertitta’s ‘Texas Monthly’ interview: Straight talk or Texas-style bluster? By Howard Stutz, Executive Editor, CDC Gaming Reports March 28, 2020 at 5:00 am Tilman Fertitta has turned himself into a brand as the uber-successful Texas billionaire. His ownership of five Golden Nugget casinos, the NBA’s Houston Rockets; countless restaurant chains, and Kemah Boardwalk, led to his CNBC reality television series as the “Billionaire Buyer,” where he advises small businesses. He is plain-speaking, blunt, and you always know where he stands. That is, until his interview this week in Texas Monthly. It caught attention on social media after we posted the story to CDC Gaming Reports. Tilman Fertitta What exactly did he mean when he told the magazine his multi-billion-dollar hospitality empire might not survive through the end of the year unless businesses started re-opening in the next few months? Was it straight talk or Texas-style bluster? The coronavirus pandemic shuttered his businesses. Fertitta furloughed 40,000 employees, but he said they understood he couldn’t pay salaries if revenues were zero. “I can tell you honestly, people will work in this office for no pay. They want to save the company.” Gaming CEOs are taking steps to help companies weather the nationwide casino shutdown. Some have given up their salaries to help their sidelined workforce. Late Friday, news hit that Penn National Gaming sold the Tropicana Las Vegas and will furlough 26,000 workers on Wednesday – April 1. What’s happening to the gaming industry is not an April Fool’s joke. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.