Sheldon Adelson is a business magnate. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. He also owns the Israeli daily newspaper Israel HaYom. As of October 2012, Adelson is listed as the 24th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of 21.8 billion. Previously, he was listed in the Forbes 400 as the 12th wealthiest American.
The original source of Sheldon Adelson’s wealth and current investments was the computer trade show COMDEX, which he and his partners developed for the computer industry; the first show was in 1979. It was the premier computer trade show through much of the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1995, Sheldon Adelson and his partners sold the Interface Group Show Division, including the COMDEX shows, to SoftBank Corporation of Japan for $862 million; Adelson’s share was over $500 million.
In 1988, Sheldon Adelson and his partners purchased the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the former hangout of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, in order to bring Las Vegas to a new source of business from the exhibition industry. The following year, Adelson and his partners constructed the Sands Expo and Convention Center, then the only privately owned and operated convention center in the US.
In 1991, while honeymooning in Venice with his second wife, Miriam, Sheldon Adelson found the inspiration for a mega-resort hotel. He razed the Sands and spent $1.5 billion to construct The Venetian, a Venice-themed resort hotel and casino. In 2003, The Venetian added the 1,013-suite Venezia tower – giving the hotel 4,049 suites; 18 restaurants and a shopping mall with canals, gondolas and singing gondoliers.
In August 2007, Sheldon Adelson opened the $2.4-billion Venetian Macao Resort Hotel on Cotai and announced that he planned to create a massive, concentrated resort area he called the Cotai Strip, after its Las Vegas counterpart. Adelson said that he planned to open more hotels under brands such as Four Seasons, Sheraton and St. Regis. His Las Vegas Sands planned to invest $12 billion and build 20,000 hotel rooms on the Cotai Strip by 2010.
In the late 2000s, Sheldon Adelson and the company decided to build a casino resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It is one of five stand-alone casinos that were awarded a slots license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in 2006. The casino opened May 22, 2009. Table games began operation on July 18, 2010. The hotel opened May 27, 2011.
Sheldon Adelson said “If we have the opportunity to build an integrated resort, we’re going to do it. We think it will attract the customers and the tax revenue to the state of Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley and the cities that are in it.”
In 2010, during the late-2000s global recession, Sheldon Adelson told The Wall Street Journal “If it were today, we probably wouldn’t have started it.”
Sheldon Adelson spearheaded a major project to bring the Sands name to Macau, the Chinese gambling city that had been a Portuguese colony until December 1999. The one-million-square-foot Sands Macao became the People’s Republic of China’s first Las Vegas-style casino when it opened in May 2004. Adelson recovered his initial $265-million investment in one year and, because he owns 69% of the stock, he increased his wealth when he took the stock public in December 2004. Since the opening of the Sands Macao, Adelson’s personal wealth has multiplied more than fourteen times. Adelson’s company is reportedly under federal investigation over alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act relating to payments made to a Macao lawyer.
In May 2006, Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands was awarded a hotly contested license to construct a casino resort in Singapore’s Marina Bay. The new casino, Marina Bay Sands, opened in 2010 at a rumored cost of $5.5 billion. It includes a shopping mall, convention center, and 2,500 luxury hotel rooms.
In 2007, Sheldon Adelson made an unsuccessful bid to purchase the Israeli newspaper Maariv. When this failed, he proceeded with parallel plans to publish a free daily newspaper to compete with Israeli, a newspaper he had co-founded in 2006 but had left. The first edition of the new newspaper, Israel HaYom, was published on July 30, 2007.
According to a Target Group Index (TGI) survey published in July 2011, Israel HaYom, which unlike all other Israeli newspapers is distributed for free, became the number-one daily newspaper (on weekdays) four years after its inception. This survey found that Israel HaYom had a 39.3% weekday readership exposure, Yedioth Ahronoth 37%, Maariv 12.1%, and Haaretz 5.8%. The Yedioth Ahronoth weekend edition was still leading with a 44.3% readership exposure, compared to 31% for the Israel HaYom weekend edition, 14.9% for Maariv, and 6.8% for Haaretz. This trend was already observed by a TGI survey in July 2010.
In 2011, the Israeli press said that Sheldon Adelson was unhappy with coverage of him on Israeli Channel 10, which alleged that Adelson had acquired a casino license in Las Vegas inappropriately through political connections. The channel apologized after Adelson threatened a lawsuit. This in turn led to the resignation of the news chief, Reudor Benziman; the news editor, Ruti Yuval; and the news anchor, Guy Zohar, who objected to the apology. After two months of deliberations, the Israeli Second Authority for Television and Radio ruled that although there were some flaws in the manner in which the apology had been conducted, the decision to apologize had been correct and appropriate.
How Sheldon Adelson Made His Money – Business
Estimated Net Worth: $26.5 Billion
Birthday: August 4, 1933