Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson dies at 87

Developer and hotel owner pioneered concept of casinos as resorts, and was major GOP donor

National /
Jan.January 12, 2021 09:45 AM
Sheldon Adelson and the Venetian in Las Vegas (Gettty)

Sheldon Adelson and the Venetian in Las Vegas (Gettty)

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who developed and operated casinos throughout Las Vegas and Asia and was a major donor to the Republican Party, died at 87. The cause was complications from lymphoma, the New York Times reported.

Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., pioneered the concept of casinos as resorts, building properties like the Venetian in Las Vegas and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore that included shopping centers, museums and convention centers along with the usual slot machines, blackjack tables and hotel rooms.

After taking Las Vegas Sands Corp. public in 2004, he became one of the world’s richest executives, whose net worth was estimated at $35 billion by Forbes.

Adelson was also a major political player, donating millions of dollars to Republican lawmakers and candidates, and influencing policy decisions, particularly through his support of President Trump. In the 2020 election season, the Adelsons contributed more than $54 million to Republican leaning or conservative committees, by far the most of any real estate player.

His own gamble on the casino business began in the 1980s, according to the Wall Street Journal, when he bought the Sands Hotel and Casino on Las Vegas’s Strip with the intention of replacing it with a convention center. The Venetian, which has a canal with gondoliers winding through the property, eventually rose in its place.

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. now operates nine resort casinos in Las Vegas, Singapore and Macao. In recent months, the company was reportedly exploring a sale of its three Vegas casinos, which could have potentially fetched as much as $6 billion.

In a statement, Dr. Miriam Adelson praised her late husband’s “grit and genius, inspiration and integrity.”

“His was an all-American story of entrepreneurship,” her statement read. “When Sheldon launched a new venture, the world looked on with anticipation.” [NYT, WSJ] — Amy Plitt





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Freshly CEO Michael Wystrach and 28 East 28th Street (Photos via Twitter; Google Maps)
    Freshly inks big lease in NoMad
    Freshly inks big lease in NoMad
    From left: Isaac Zion with JMC Holdings' Matthew Cassin (left) and David Taylor (right) (Photos via SL Green; JMC)
    Former SL Green exec Isaac Zion joins Acram Group
    Former SL Green exec Isaac Zion joins Acram Group
    (Photo illustration by The Real Deal)
    Inside mall owner Namdar’s rapid growth story
    Inside mall owner Namdar’s rapid growth story
    15 Park Row (Google Maps)
    J&R Music founders sell Park Row apartment tower for $140M
    J&R Music founders sell Park Row apartment tower for $140M
    Claudio Del Vecchio has owned Brooks Brothers since 2001. (Getty)
    Brooks Brothers’ Madison Ave store could give way to Midtown East tower
    Brooks Brothers’ Madison Ave store could give way to Midtown East tower
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty)
    Industry reacts to Cuomo’s proposed commercial eviction ban
    Industry reacts to Cuomo’s proposed commercial eviction ban
    Merchants Hospitality Inks Club Deal at Cachet Hotel (Google Maps, Playboy Club)
    Nightlife veteran John Blair inks deal for Hell’s Kitchen club
    Nightlife veteran John Blair inks deal for Hell’s Kitchen club
    Financial disclosures show extent of Trump Org losses
    Financial disclosures show extent of Trump Org losses
    Financial disclosures show extent of Trump Org losses
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...