Casino entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson (pictured in a file photo) has made it to the top-20 of the “Forbes 400, 2020, The Richest People in America” list, despite his net worth – as estimated by Forbes – being down from a recent peak in 2018.
Forbes said that amid the Covid-19 pandemic, America’s 400-richest were worth in aggregate, a record US$3.2 trillion, up US$240 billion from a year earlier
Mr Adelson is chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp, which has casino resort venues in Las Vegas, Nevada; Macau in China; and the city-state of Singapore.
He is listed at 19 on the rundown, with a Forbes 400 net worth of US$29.8 billion as of Tuesday (September 8). Despite being in the top-20, his fortune fell by an estimated US$4.7 billion, or 13.6 percent, from the prior-year list, according to Forbes.
Much of Mr Adelson’s wealth stems from his holdings in Las Vegas Sands and its Macau unit, Sands China Ltd.
Another billionaire with casino links, also making the Forbes 400 at number 39, is professional investor Carl Icahn. His Forbes 400 net worth is put at US$14 billion.
He took a stake of nearly 10 percent in Caesars Entertainment Corp in 2019, and subsequently lobbied for its US$17.3-billion merger with regional U.S. casino firm Eldorado Resorts Inc, a deal that was completed in July this year.
Prior to the transaction, Caesars Entertainment had aspired to having a casino licence in Japan, and a gaming resort in South Korea.
At number 103 on the list, is investor Ronald Perelman, chairman of casino equipment and lottery services provider Scientific Games Corp. His Forbes 400 net worth is assessed at US$6.2 billion.
A July 15 filing by Scientific Games said Mr Perelman was considering a possible sale of his entire stake in the firm. As of that date he held – via direct and indirect holdings, including through MacAndrews & Forbes Inc – nearly 39 percent Scientific Games’ common shares.
Steve Wynn, founder of U.S. casino group Wynn Resorts Ltd, the parent of Macau operator Wynn Macau Ltd, still makes the Forbes 400, at number 278, with a net worth judged to be US$3 billion.
Mr Wynn exited the Wynn businesses in February 2018, after being accused of sexual misconduct against some female employees. He denied the allegations.
A month later, he reached a deal to sell 8 million shares he still held in Wynn Resorts, at US175 per share. As of close of business in the U.S. on Wednesday, Wynn Resorts’ stock was worth US$82.95 per unit.
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”The notion that somehow the Macau gaming companies can be used by China as negotiating pawns in a geopolitical negotiation with the U.S. is definitely without merit”
Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd