Forbes recently released its study into the 400 richest people in American and one casino boss is on there. Sheldon Adelson occupies 19th place in the standings despite losing 13% of his net worth over the year.

Adelson’s net worth dropped by an incredible US$4.7 billion over the past year. Don’t feel sorry for him, however, because he’s still worth US$29.8 billion! The 87-year-old is the founder, Chairman, and CEO of Las Vegas Sands. The company has properties all over the world and Adelson is keen to add more to his portfolio.

Crown Resorts is one company on the wish list of Adelson. Rumours circulated in April following comments Adelson made during a press conference revealing his company’s financial figures.

“We are interested in Mergers and Acquisitions. I’m not going to give up on developing Integrated Resorts. I’m going to add on to our strategic thinking, strategic properties that we can acquire because most of the other companies don’t have the balance sheet that we do, and they don’t have the potential market we do. Now I’m taking on the strategy of both acquiring and building, and developing.”

The casino veteran has a keen eye for a bargain and Crown Resorts fits the bill. Its share price is struggling yet it makes vast sums of money. The latter is only true when the property is operating fully, which hasn’t been the case since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who Is Sheldon Adelson?

Adelson was born in 1933 in the Dorchester neighbourhood of Boston. He is of Ukrainian and Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. Adelson has always had an eye for business and launched his first when only 12-years-old. He borrowed $US200 from his uncle and purchased a license to sell newspapers in Boston.

His uncle loaned Adelson US$10,000 four years later and Adelson started a candy-vending business. After failing to graduate from the City College of New York, Adelson joined the army. He established a business selling toiletry kits after being discharged before creating De-Ice-It. More than 50 businesses have Adelson’s name on them somewhere along the line.

His foray into the casino world started in 1988 when he purchased the Sands Hotel and Casino. It was a former hangout for Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.

A trip to Venice on his honeymoon with his second wife gave Adelson inspiration for The Venetian in Las Vegas. He built it at a cost of $1.5 billion in 1999.

Macau has proved to be hugely successful for Adelson. His wealth multiplied 14-times since getting a foothold in China.

Adelson hates online poker and online casinos, and spend millions of dollars annually lobbying against them. He makes huge donations to politicians who promise to overturn current gambling legislation in the United States. He’s also a huge fan of Donald Trump.

He’s not all bad because he also donates vast sums of money to charitable causes.

Other Mega Rich Gambling Execs

Adelson is the only casino owner in the Forbes 400 but there are other mega-rich gambling executives.

Carl Icahn comes in at 39 with a personal fortune of $14 billion. Icahn was heavily involved in Eldorado Resorts acquiring Caesars Entertainment. Icahn purchased a significant stake in Eldorado before the US17.3 billion deal went through.

Chairman of Scientific Games Corporation, Ronald Perelman is ranked 103rd with a US$6.2 billion fortune. He increased his holding in the company last year to 40% and has 36.68 million shares. Perelman would close the gap on Adelson if he sold his vast holding.

Steve Wynn is the only other casino executive to join Adelson in the richest 400. The former CEO of Wynn Resorts is worth US$3 billion, enough for 278th place in the standings.