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Billionaire Casino Owner And Poker Enthusiast Phil Ruffin Buys Casino Miami

Las Vegas Casino Owner Expands To South Florida Gambling Market

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Phil Ruffin at the WSOPBillionaire casino owner Phil Ruffin has decided to purchase Casino Miami, a jai-alai fronton with simulcast betting and electronic table games.

The 83-year-old poker enthusiast, who also owns the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, is hoping to add a hotel to the 21-acres of land the 200,000-sq. ft. casino sits on, and bring a little bit of Las Vegas to South Florida.

“I look forward to entering the Miami gaming market through this acquisition,” Ruffin said in a statement. “We have exciting plans for Casino Miami that we will be revealing in the near future.”

Although the purchase price was not disclosed, the property was last sold in 2014 for $155 million.

The gambling facility is in a good location near Miami International Airport, and Ruffin plans to spruce it up, but it’s the gaming license that many believe is the draw of this deal.

Casino MiamiIn November, thanks to a campaign from Disney and the Seminole Tribe, which operates the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, voters decided to take control of casino legislation, making it nearly impossible for gambling expansion in the state. As a result, existing licenses are that much more valuable.

Ruffin, who once owned the Frontier Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip before it was imploded, has played in numerous poker events and even competed on GSN’s High Stakes Poker.

He is also a co-owner of the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, and donated extensively to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump even served as “best man” at Ruffin’s wedding.