Posted on: December 22, 2023, 04:33h.
Last updated on: December 22, 2023, 05:16h.
Tilman Fertitta controls the growing Golden Nugget casino empire, but he’s constructive on a pair of other gaming equities as 2024 looms.
In an interview with CNBC’s Brian Sullivan, Fertitta waxed bullish on DraftKings(NASDAQ: DKNG) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) — two stocks in which he’s among the largest individual investors.
I think Wynn is still your premier gaming company in the United States,” said Fertitta in the interview. “If there’s business in Vegas, which there’s always been, Wynn is going to do the most business.”
On Oct. 31, 2022, it was revealed that the Golden Nugget boss and Houston Rockets owner took a 6.1% stake in Wynn, making him the second-largest individual shareholder in the stock behind only Elaine Wynn. That touched off speculation that Fertitta could eventually move to acquire Wynn outright. Such a transaction hasn’t materialized as of yet, but his desire to own a Las Vegas Strip casino resort is well-documented.
Wynn Could Be Winner for Fertitta
A 2022 Schedule 13G filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicates Fertitta Entertainment, Fertitta himself, and another entity purchased 6.91 million shares of Wynn in October 2022.
Depending on exactly when in October 2022 those purchases were made, Fertitta is likely sitting on a modest though unrealized profit in Wynn shares. The stock closed at $87.21 on Oct. 1, 2022 and at $90.42 today. While that suggests lethargic price action in the name over the past year-plus, Fertitta remains optimistic in his outlook on Wynn.
“I’m very bullish on Wynn,” added Fertitta. “It’s been lingering down there in the 80s for the past few months and I expect for it to make a huge move soon.”
According to SEC filing activity, Fertitta has not added to or reduced his Wynn stake.
Fertitta Constructive on DraftKings, Too
Fertitta told Sullivan he’s the largest individual shareholder of DraftKings equity, though that’s likely in reference to the common stock as co-founder and CEO Jason Robins holds more than 90% of another class of shares that possess super voting rights.
Fertitta’s status as major DraftKings investors came about through the online sportsbook operator acquiring his Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) — a $1.56 billion all-stock deal that closed in May 2022. That transaction paved the way for DraftKings to become one of the leaders by market share in domestic iGaming industry owing to GNOG’s established internet casino footprint in marquee markets such as New Jersey.
He remains bullish on DraftKings even as new competitors, such as ESPN Bet and Fanatics, enter the arena.
“It’s gonna really be four or five companies that are gonna own the sports betting industry,” Fertitta told Sullivan. “What you have to remember about that industry is it’s only in a few states. It’s not in California. It’s not in Texas. So many people are betting offshore now that when these big states get it, the amount of money that’s going to flow to the bottom line for these companies is extremely, extremely huge.”