Houston Rockets’ owner Tilman Fertitta says he had to lay off 40,000 employees at his casino and restaurant due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Tilman says he was had to lay off the employees to limit the economic damage caused by government-imposed shutdowns.

“I think what we are doing with the shut-down is good but in a few weeks people will need to be around people,” Fertitta said in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday. “Otherwise you are going to go into an economic crisis that is going to take us years to dig ourselves out of.”

”As soon as I see us making the turn and everything is going to reopen we are
100% going to buy back our debt,” he said. “I see that as a great opportunity.”

“We are doing basically no business,” Fertitta said. “I want to hire every employee back. This is very hard on a lot of working families but we have to survive or there is no company.”

Fertitta owns the Golden Nugget casinos and hundreds of restaurants like Landry’s, Del Frisco’s, and Bubba Gump Shrimp.