A Billionaire's Casino

Houston billionaire aims to make his new $700 million casino a Bayou City playground: Las Vegas in Louisiana

H-Town billionaire aims to make new $700 million casino a Bayou place

Golden Nugget Hotel in Lake Charles
The Golden Nugget Hotel is just about ready to open. This photo was taken from a live stream camera on the hotel's website. Golden Nugget Live Stream Photo

Houston is likely to never have casino gambling in our lifetime, so billionaire Tilman Fertitta has come up with a plan for the next best thing.

His $700 million Las Vegas-style Golden Nugget is set to open Monday at noon in Lake Charles, a two-hour ride away from Houston and its many residents with deep pockets who are ready to gamble and have a good time.

A few months ago, when taking a group of Houston reporters for the opening of the Golden Nugget in Biloxi, Fertitta promised the Lake Charles hotel and casino would be open by December and workers are furiously putting finishing touches to get it ready to meet his deadline. Some major imported light fixtures were delayed in customs in San Francisco and other last-minute construction details remain as Louisiana gaming officials are on the premises to ensure all of the equipment is operational for the opening.

 More than 70,000 reservations have already been made before the opening. 

The casino, which is twice as large as the Golden Nugget in Biloxi, has 70 table games, 1,600 new slot machines and a state of the art poker room.

The Golden Nugget Lake Charles is Fertitta’s fifth gaming property and the first to be built from scratch. Amenities include 740 hotel rooms and suites, seven Landry's signature restaurants, including Vic & Anthony's, Grotto, Cadillac Bar and Lillie's Asian Cuisine, and a sprawling 18-hole championship golf course that opens in April. Other features include a private beach and marina, pool, tennis courts, world-class spa, five bars and lounges and eight boutiques and gift shops.

More than 70,000 reservations have already been made before the opening. Big-name entertainment will come to the hotel next month when Leean Rimes will perform on Jan. 17 and Merle Haggard on Jan. 31 in the Grand Ballroom.