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Another Golden Nugget: Tilman Fertitta acquires casino complex close to home

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Golden Nugget rendering in Lake Charles Louisiana Tilman Fertitta
Tilman Fertitta has acquired an under-construction Lake Charles casino, which he'll rebrand as the fifth Golden Nugget. Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Landry's
Golden Nugget Lake Charles Louisiana rendering 2 July 2013 Tilman Fertitta
The 800-room hotel and casino will feature a golf course, lakefront beach and marina. Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Landry's
Golden Nugget Las Vegas shark tank tube with girl and sharks
A "one of a kind" swimming pool is planned . . . although the Golden Nugget's shark tank pool will be tough to beat.  Ideasy.org
Golden Nugget rendering in Lake Charles Louisiana Tilman Fertitta
Golden Nugget Lake Charles Louisiana rendering 2 July 2013 Tilman Fertitta
Golden Nugget Las Vegas shark tank tube with girl and sharks
Golden Nugget Las Vegas shark tank by swimming pool
Golden Nugget Las Vegas swimming pool

Tilman Fertitta's Golden Nugget empire just got a little closer to Texas.

The Houston-based dining, hospitality and gaming mogul announced Thursday that his Landry's group has acquired an under-construction casino and hotel located next to the popular L'Auberge du Lac Resort in Lake Charles, La.

“I could not pass up the opportunity to build and operate a casino next door to my hometown," Fertitta said in a statement detailing the new 800-room Golden Nugget complex, which will open in 2014.

“I could not pass up the opportunity to build and operate a casino next door to my hometown. "

"This casino will be where Louisiana locals and Texans will want to play, stay and enjoy themselves. We are investing nearly $600 million dollars in the project and plan to draw from our large South Texas and Louisiana customer base to drive business to our new resort.”

A scant two hours from the Bayou City, the 242-acre site will feature an 18-hole championship golf course, a luxury spa and 18,000-square-foot ballroom as well as a lakefront beach area and marina. A state-of-the-art casino will include 60 table games, a poker room and 1600 new slot machines.

Also on the drawing board is a "one of a kind" swimming pool . . . although it remains unclear whether it will include a 200,000-gallon live shark aquarium like the pool at the Las Vegas Golden Nugget. (Click here to see the famous pool in a 2010 episode of CSI.)

As with Fertitta's other Nuggets — not only the Vegas original, but also those in Atlantic City, Biloxi and Laughlin, Nev. — the new casino-hotel will have heavy representation from his Landry's restaurant lineup. Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse and Grotto Italian Ristorante already are on board.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Fertitta purchased the in-progress casino complex from Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns L'Auberge. The project marks the last available gaming license in state of Louisiana.

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