News: Ever suffered problems keeping your finances stable? Spare a thought for Sheldon Adelson, the former casino owner who died today aged 87.
In 1988 the self-made go zillionaire bought Las Vegas Sands Hotel and Casino for $110 million. Not content with his purchase, in 1991 after honeymooning in Venice, Italy with his second wife the taxi driver’s son came up with the idea of a mega-resort hotel and decided to flatten the Sands and splash out $1.5 billion to construct his new vision, The Venetian, the Venice-themed resort hotel and casino which opened in 1999.
With that venue working as a cash-register Adelson started on a host of other casino projects throughout the mid 2000’s. He led a project to bring the Las Vegas Sands casinos blueprint to Macau. At 1,000,000 square feet the Sands Macau became first Las Vegas-style casino when it opened in May 2004. Here Adelson recovered his initial $265-million investment within a year and his personal wealth was to multiply more than fourteen times on the back of this one new casino.
Indeed, the orient proved a happy hunting ground for the casino magnate and while building a casino resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania bigger profits were to come from the Venetian Macao which he opened in 2007 at a cost of $2.4 billion. The 10,500,000-square-foot Venetian Macao was modelled on its sister casino resort in Vegas and still holds the mantle of being the second largest casino in the world and the largest single structure hotel building in Asia. It is also the seventh-largest building in the world by floor space.
The clock is ticking
Opened in 2010 at a cost of $6.8 billion (making it the sixth most expensive building in the world) Sheldon Adelson concurrently constructed Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino. But the world had just entered recession and Adelson was feeling the pinch. During the mid-2000’s his personal net worth grew by a breathtaking $1 million an hour – yes a million 24/7! He had amassed a $30 billion fortune making him the third richest person in the world but by 2011 his bank balance showed just $2 billion. Poor thing! However a global upturn came around and by late 2013 it was estimated his wealth was once again growing – now at a rate of, $2 million an hour!
What would you do with such wealth? One of Adelson’s pet projects was to buy the Las Vegas Review-Journal which became the only major newspaper nationwide to endorse Trump for President in 2016. That was no coincidence, in September 2016 Adelson gave a $25 million donation to Trump’s presidential campaign, and an additional $40 million to the Republican electoral campaign for 2016.
Despite all of this Adelson did not always back winners, in 1992 he spent $92 million supporting losing Republican Party candidates during the 2012 United States presidential election cycle.
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