Sheldon Adelson’s name often appeared in the global casino news as he was a key figure in the industry. A philanthropist, passionate backer of the Republican Party, and talented businessman, Adelson became a prominent person not only in the gambling sector but also in the political world.
It isn’t an easy task to list up all achievements and outstanding events that are present in the casino mogul’s life. He was here and there and everywhere, participating and being an active person in every vertical that was interesting for him. Although Adelson’s name is mostly connected with the casino business, he has also owned several newspapers and has been interested in politics.
Sheldon Adelson: the story of the casino mogul
Adelson’s way of becoming a casino magnate started in his childhood. Of course, the boy didn’t run a casino business, but he had a dream of becoming an entrepreneur and did everything possible to achieve this goal.
At the age of twelve, Sheldon began to work as a newspaper seller. He borrowed two hundred dollars from his uncle to buy a special license, which allowed him to conduct such activities. This makes him know the worth of money and understand that the process of making them isn’t easy. The boy starts considering the opportunity to set up a business and, by the age of sixteen, he becomes an owner of candy vending machines and gains considerable profit. Again, his uncle gives him a start-up budget – ten thousand dollars.
It is worth mentioning that the future owner of the casino empire hasn’t paid much attention to education. According to some reliable sources, Adelson was a student of the City College of New York, however, he didn’t graduate from it. The next try was a trade school where Sheldon was learning the basics of a court reporter job. This attempt was more successful as he pursued this profession for some time, but it didn’t bring the desired level of income. Being disappointed in the educational system, the young man decides to join the army.
After returning to civilian life, Sheldon had to find ways to earn money again. He starts various businesses again and again but can’t forge his path. Adelson sells toiletry kits, chemical sprays, charter tours, and, finally, his income starts to increase. It is interesting to know that he has had approximately fifty businesses during his career path.
Sheldon’s efforts paid off and the fortune favored him as he together with a partner, established a company called COMDEX in the 70s. It was oriented towards computer trade shows. Even having no expertise in this industry, the entrepreneur managed to develop the company and sell it a profit later. The business was estimated at 862 million dollars, Adelson’s share was 500 million dollars.
This business and money became the basement for the gambling empire. In 1988, the businessman purchases the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and decides to build the Sands Expo and Convention Center there, which becomes one of the largest conference centers in the United States. The HoReCa sector engrosses Sheldon so much that he considers other opportunities in this direction. He decides to demolish the Sands Hotel and Casino and build The Venetian – the resort hotel in the Venetian style. This venue opened its doors for visitors in May 1993. The owner was developing and expanding this entertainment facility, adding more space to it, which led to the creation of more hotel suites, restaurants, bars, and shopping places.
Adelson didn’t stop at one city and began to search for other regions where he could develop his casino business. Asia became his next destination point. The entrepreneur chose China, namely Macau, as the next place where he could continue expanding the business. He opened Venetian Macao Resort Hotel Cotai, intending to make a luxury resort there. Later, he will put this idea into practice and open Sands Macao – another hotel of his giant corporation. This venue was very popular among gamblers and tourists as it became the first Vegas-style casino in the country.
The chain of new openings kept growing. Adelson launched venues in such places as:
- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In the 2000s, Adelson creates a resort in this city and gets an exclusive license on slot machines . It is worth mentioning that the businessman has high hopes for this venue and sees many opportunities it can bring for Pennsylvania’s financial and economic thriving.
- Marina Bay, Singapore. The casino mogul moved forward to Singapore, casino games license wasn’t an easy thing to get there. However, he finds a way to construct another gambling establishment under the brand of Las Vegas Sands. This area also becomes a luxury resort, which includes many recreational places: night clubs, swimming pools, shops, etc.
Surprisingly, the magnate was against online gambling. He only supported the land-based casino vertical and didn’t see the reason for the legalization of Internet gambling. Adelson’s disavowal of digital casinos was so strong that he even provided financial help to those political candidates who were opposed to their legalization. In 2015, he backed the Restore America's Wire Act, which was aimed at making online gambling illegal and even influenced brick-and-mortar casinos negatively.
Whether Sheldon’s first job as a newsvendor or the desire to have more businesses influenced the owner of the casino empire to invest in the newspaper sector. The acquisition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper became a much-discussed topic because the billionaire paid 140 million dollars for it. The critics said that this sum was excessively big for the deal. Moreover, Adelson’s ownership of the newspaper led to a series of reporters’ dismissals. The reason for this is the confrontation of opinions between a new owner and the editorial staff. The majority of the content proposed by Adelson was reviewed by the top management thoroughly. In general, after the acquisition, the newspaper’s employees criticized the company’s management system and restricted approach to information published there.
In addition to the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, earlier, Adelson intended to buy Maariv – the Israeli newspaper. However, this attempt was unsuccessful. The billionaire didn’t give up and decided to create another periodical, Israel Hayom, which would become Maariv’s main competitor. The newspaper was free, but Adelson got several takeover bids. Later, it was announced that the casino magnate had transferred the property in the newspaper to his relative.
Naked truth about Sheldon Adelson: net worth
Of course, speaking about billionaires, it is always interesting to find out about their net worth. As for Sheldon Adelson, he started to work and earn money very early. His persistence and business acumen allowed him to become not the world’s richest person of all time but to be included in this list. At the current time, his fortune is estimated at 33.8 billion dollars.
The casino king’s name is added to the Forbes’ list of the wealthiest people. He occupies the nineteenth position there and is included in the top 400 businessmen with the biggest income. Adelson was nominated for several Forbes’ categories: Billionaires 2020, The Richest Person In Each State 2019, Powerful People 2016.
Taking into consideration his challenging way to wealth, many Americans talk about Adelson as a self-made billionaire. He could become rich, using a borrowed initial capital of 200 dollars.
Once the casino mogul has said that a successful entrepreneur should always have a mentality of a person who isn’t afraid of risks. Other important qualities are courage, the ability to start everything from the very beginning when you fail, and faith in yourself.
Behind closed doors: Adelson’s private life
Sheldon Gary Adelson was born on August 4, 1933. His native city is Boston, Massachusetts. The billionaire didn’t come from a rich family: his father was a taxi driver, and a mother worked in a knitting store. His father had a Lithuanian origin as well as Jewish roots. Sheldon’s mother was born and raised in England. Except for Sheldon, the family had two more children – Leonard and Gloria Rita.
The businessman had several marriages. He adopted three children of his first wife, Sandra, but they divorced in 1988. His second wife, Miriam Farbstein Ochshorn, also has Jewish roots and has been living in Israel for a long time. Sheldon became a stepfather for two of Miriam’s children. The magnate didn’t give birth to his own children.
Adelson had strained relationships with his children. His son from the first marriage, Mitchell, was a drug addict, and they weren’t in touch for a year. Unfortunately, Sheldon couldn’t save his child from death: in 2005, he died because of a drug overdose. This became the major reason why the billionaire was fighting against the legalization of cannabis. He believed that marijuana is the first step toward drug addiction. Moreover, the entrepreneur donated much to various anti-cannabis funds. In 2016, he donated nine million dollars to organizations that opposed the legalization. At the same time, even without taking into consideration his problematic son, his other children filed lawsuits against him. Only his daughter, Shelley, was in perfect relations with him.
Problems with health and death
Twenty years ago, doctors established a dangerous diagnosis – peripheral neuropathy, which affected Adelson’s ability to move. His combating the disease was long and difficult. Mass media informed that the casino magnate had harsh side effects from treatment, which influenced his health negatively. On January 11, 2021, it was announced that the billionaire died.
Sheldon Adelson as the backer of the Republican Party
Being a person with wide interest, Sheldon Adelson was participating in the world of politics as well. This was necessary for him as a businessman because he was trying to push for laws, which could help his business, or, at least, didn’t prevent it from the operation.
However, his political beliefs also played a crucial role. Adelson didn’t keep to one ideology throughout his life. Initially, he was a backer of the Democratic Party, which is one of the main political parties in the US. Later, he decided to change the party and joined its rivals – the Republicans. The casino magnate explained his switch, saying that the Democrats didn’t support Israel enough and, in addition to this, weren’t so charitable as their opponents. The businessman didn’t want to make unsubstantiated statements and proved his words by facts, showing authoritative statistics. Commenting on his switch to another political side, he said that the Democrats didn’t stand to their promises.
In addition to statements about politics, Adelson also took action in this sector. He stated his attitude to various situations through donations. As a rich and influential person, he was ready to support financially those campaigns that seemed important to him.
Here is the list of the largest and most significant donations made by him:
- $250 000 for George W. Bush’s second inauguration;
- one million dollars to American Solutions for Winning the Future;
- $65 million to the Republican Party during the elections in 2016;
- $113 million to the Republican Party during the elections in 2018;
- $25 million to Donald Trump’s campaign.
Political beliefs of Sheldon Adelson: Trump as president
It isn’t a secret that the owner of the biggest and the most famous casino resorts has been among the main Trump supporters. He didn’t only support him financially but also was in a constant communication process with him. Adelson encouraged the initiatives of the 45th US president, especially all those relating to his native land – Israel.
Supporting Trump with money, the billionaire promoted him via his media holdings as well. What is interesting, he has always been against the idea of influencing political figures with money. At the same time, he admitted that he continued doing this. He was ready to endorse Donald Trump as America’s president and donate huge sums to his campaigns.
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Who is Sheldon Adelson?
He is a businessman, casino magnate, and politically active person.
What casinos does Sheldon Adelson own?
He has owned Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which includes several casinos.
Where was Sheldon Adelson born?
He was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
How much is Sheldon Adelson’s net worth?
His net worth is $33.8 billion.
What hotels does Sheldon Adelson own?
The Venetian, Sands Macao, The Venetian Macao, Marina Bay Sands, etc.