Tilman Fertitta on coronavirus pandemic: ‘This is a matter of survival’ Michael Hardy, Texas Monthly · March 27, 2020 at 6:30 am Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Landry’s restaurant group, the Golden Nugget casino chain, and the Houston Rockets, has weathered a number of storms, literal and figurative, over his forty-year career: Black Monday, 9/11, the Great Recession, Hurricane Harvey. But the restaurateur’s businesses may not outlast COVID-19. He says he has indefinitely closed 200 of his 550 locations around the world and converted the rest to takeout and delivery. On March 24, Bloomberg News reported that he has also furloughed around 70 percent of his employees—40,000 total. Unless his restaurants and casinos can start reopening in the next few months, Fertitta told Texas Monthly on March 24, his hospitality empire may not survive through the end of the year—and neither would the United States, he predicted.