Sheldon Adelson (pictured in a file photo), the founding chairman and chief executive of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp, died on Monday night aged 87, reportedly at his home in Malibu, California, in the United States, “from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” a form of cancer, said the company in a Tuesday statement.
The group he launched is the parent of Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd, and also runs via a subsidiary, the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore.
Sands China said in a separate statement the staff of the Macau unit were “profoundly saddened and grief-stricken by the news”.
It added: “We will never forget his contributions to the development of Macau.”
The parent firm noted: “When the pandemic disrupted daily routines and dramatically impacted his business, Mr Adelson was adamant that our team members across the globe continue to receive full pay and healthcare benefits even while the buildings in which they worked were closed.”
“He will be missed by people from all parts of the world who were touched by his generosity, kindness, intellect and wonderful sense of humour,” added the announcement.
A funeral will be held in Israel, the birthplace of his wife, Dr Miriam Adelson, with plans for a memorial service held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States, “to be announced at a later date,” said the statement.
Only last week it had been announced that Mr Adelson was taking medical leave for treatment of his cancer.
A Tuesday statement from the Macau government “expressed condolences for his passing, and extended heartfelt condolences to his family”, noting Mr Adelson had “led and fostered the Sands group’s development in Macau”.
Mr Adelson’s legacy in the Macau market includes a series of themed resorts on the Cotai Strip, the first and best known being the Venetian Macao, followed by the Parisian Macao, and most recently by the Londoner Macao. The latter, a revamp of the former Sands Cotai Central, will open its Londoner Hotel for guest stays from January 22, with the resort due to have a first-phase launch in early February.
Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, a casino industry trade body, said in a statement that Mr Adelson’s death was “a tremendous loss to the gaming community”.
He added that Mr Adelson was a “true visionary and pioneer of modern casino gaming for more than three decades”. Mr Miller further noted: “From Las Vegas and Pennsylvania to Macau and Singapore, his mark is indelible.”
(Update Jan 12, 10.16pm)
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