Casino Mogul Sheldon Adelson Cashes in His Chips at 87

A polarizing Las Vegas casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, has died at 87 of complications related to his treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Sheldon Adelson was CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., owners of Venetian, Palazzo and the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, as well as a number of casino resorts we care much less about in Asia somewhere.

Sheldon Adelson

People have more opinions about Sheldon Adelson than Sheldon Adelson had dollars, which is saying something.

Adelson was a complex individual, frequently backing the wrong horses politically to the tune of billions of dollars, but his impact on Las Vegas is undeniable.

Fans will remember Adelson for his generosity. For example, when Las Vegas casinos were shut down due to the COVID crisis, Las Vegas Sands voluntarily paid full wages and health benefits to more than 10,000 employees, long after there was any obligation to do so.

With a net worth in the $35 billion range, Adelson was remarkably philanthropic. He was known for donating generously to Jewish causes and medical research.

Adelson had his share of critics as well.

Many are quick to point out Adelson’s years of union-busting efforts on the Las Vegas Strip, as well as his (initially secret) buying and gutting of the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a means to further his political and business interests.

He also once suggested the U.S. should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran, so there’s that. That statement got Las Vegas Sands hacked, crippling the company’s operations. It’s estimated the episode cost $40 million to rectify.

Sands cyber attack

The Sands cyber attack was a wake-up call for IT departments at casino companies.

It was recently reported Venetian, Palazzo and the Sands Expo and Convention Center would be sold, as Adelson shifted his focus to Asia.

Las Vegas accounted for just 13% of Las Vegas Sands Corp. revenue in 2019.

Word of the sale was taken as a lack of confidence in the quick return of convention business to Las Vegas. Now, it’s evident the move to sell off Las Vegas Sands assets in Las Vegas was more akin to estate planning, part of a succession plan.

As we’ve exclusively shared, it’s rumored Hard Rock International (the Seminole tribe) is the the front-runner in purchasing Venetian and Palazzo. If the rumors pan out, the deal would be in partnership with Blackstone’s REIT (real estate investment trust). We’re guessing the deal won’t be derailed by the passing of Sheldon Adelson.

Venetian and Palazzo rank among the most beautiful and successful casino resorts in Las Vegas.


Sheldon Adelson’s legacy includes this beauty.

Whether you loved or hated Sheldon Adelson (based upon the reaction to his death, there seems little middle ground), there’s no question his influence on Las Vegas is indelible.

The fact Sheldon Adelson was simultaneously adored and reviled made him all the more fascinating.

His legacy is assured as he joins an eclectic list of colorful characters who helped make Las Vegas what it is—visionaries who did what many considered impossible, creating beautiful things the world gets to enjoy.

12 thoughts on “Casino Mogul Sheldon Adelson Cashes in His Chips at 87

  1. Mike Alexakis

    Adelson paid tens of millions of dollars in fines over the years, he apparently felt that crime was worth it, that fines were just part of doing business… Kind of like a beagle I used to have, he loved the trash, he would just rummage through it and make a disgusting mess, then sit there and look at you, he never ran away from the consequences, he just sat there and took whatever flak we gave him. Like Adelson, Trooper felt like the love of garbage or crimes was more than worth whatever discipline was coming…

      1. Mike Alexakis

        $47 million fine to the Justice Department in 2013 for failing to report transactions from a drug dealer, essentially allowing him (a whale) to launder money through the Venetian. One fine of $7 million for illicit payments to a “consultant”, another of $9 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission for the same “consultant”… Plus he had run ins with Chinese authorities for similar activities in Macau, and he was allegedly supplying whales with prostitutes there… Adelson did not fear law enforcement, he just went about doing whatever he wanted to, certainly he did more than he was caught doing. Adelson flouted the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act by doling out bribes overseas to whomever he felt advanced his interests… On the good side he did certainly take care of Venetian workers health benefits during the pandemic, which is noteworthy…

  2. project design

    I seen Sheldon around…..seems these guys are powerful and mercurial (best to catch them in a good mood), I truly despise the Review Journal for “not” allowing comments….comments are freedom of speech and the best part of a article you may not understand (some do)!

    1. Jackson

      Clearly you don’t understand the concept of freedom of speech. It only applies to government…not a private entity like a newspaper.

      1. James K

        Fox News allows free speech commenting. CNN and MSNBC don’t….HMMM. It’s like they want you to only hear their side of things.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *