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November 1, 2022

Undercounter pellet ice maker

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who also controls a gaming and restaurant empire, has built a 6.1% stake in Wynn Resorts, according to SEC filings.

Updated at 9:37 am EST

Wynn Resorts  (WYNN)  shares jumped higher Monday following Securities and Exchange Commission filings showing billionaire investor and restaurant owner Tilman Fertitta has built a passive 6.1% stake in the casino operator. 

Fertitta, who owns the privately-held Landy’s restaurant group as well as the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets, has amassed around 6.9 million shares in Wynn, according to a 13-G filing made public on Monday.

Hospitality Headquarters Inc., a Houston-based group controlled by Fertitta, as well as Fertitta Entertainment, which owns the Golden Nugget casino, were also named in the share purchase. 

Last year, Fertitta scrapped plans to take his casino and restaurant businesses public through a merger with Fast Acquisition Corp., a so-called blank check company that traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Wynn shares were marked 7% higher in early Monday trading to change hands at $62.22 each, a move that would still leave the stock with a six month decline of around 10.2%.

Wynn, which generates around 70% of its overall revenues from Macau, the world’s biggest gaming hub and a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, got a boost last month when officials agreed to allow tour groups from mainland China for the first time in nearly three years.

Visitors from five provinces — Guangdong, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian — will no longer need to go through a complicated e-visa process to visit Macau, the only city under Beijing’s control that allows legalized gambling, under terms of the first phase of its new regulations.

Macau’s gaming market generated around $37 billion in annual revenues prior to the pandemic, around five times more than the collective take of the Las Vegas strip.

Fertitta purchased the Houston Rockets in 2017 from former bond trader and investment banker Leslie Alexander for a record $2.2 billion, topping the previous franchise high price of $2 billion paid by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a forced sale of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014. 

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