Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#24 Sheldon Adelson $29.7B

Random fact: Known to tell people he is the "richest Jew in the world."

Overview

Adelson is chairman and majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands, the world's largest casino operator. The Las Vegas-based business controls casino resorts and convention centers in the U.S. and Asia. He owns more than half of the publicly traded company, which had revenue of $11.4 billion in 2016 and 46,500 employees.

As of May 22, 2017:
Last change -$48.4M (-0.2%)
YTD change +$1.50B (+5.3%)
Industry Entertainment
Biggest asset LVS US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 83
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Sheldon Adelson's net worth of $29.7B can buy ...

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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Adelson's fortune is derived from publicly traded Las Vegas Sands, the world's largest casino operator, according to its 2016 annual report. The billionaire controls about 54 percent of the company directly, through his wife and several family trusts, according to a December 2016 proxy statement. His wife exercised a warrant to buy 87.5 million common shares in 2012 at a cost of $525 million, or $6 per share.

Adelson sold about $3 billion of Las Vegas Sands stock in 2005 and 2006. Two years later, he and his wife gave $1 billion to the company in two installments to help stave off bankruptcy during the financial crisis. They received warrants and 5.25 million preferred shares in exchange. Las Vegas Sands bought the preferred shares for $577.5 million in November 2011.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes, market performance, and political and charitable giving, and include the value of his personal real estate.

Biography

Birthdate: 8/4/1933
Family: Married, 5 children

Gambling's richest man grew up poor, the son of a Boston cab driver. At age 12, Adelson borrowed money from an uncle to sell newspapers on two street corners. Some of his first jobs included selling ads in trade magazines and serving as a court reporter. He made his first fortune in trade shows.

He unveiled the Comdex technology conference with partners in 1979. They sold what became one of the most attended trade shows in the world, plus more than a dozen smaller shows, to SoftBank for $862 million in 1995.

Adelson parlayed the windfall into the casino business. He bought the Sands Hotel in 1989 and demolished it to build the all-suites Venetian resort, courting business travelers instead of tourists to the Las Vegas Strip. In 2002, he won one of three licenses to operate casinos in China, and opened the Sands Macau two years later. Adelson's Las Vegas Sands sold shares in 2004, and their soaring price helped Adelson to become the third-richest person in the U.S. in 2007.

The declining economy forced him to infuse $1 billion of his own cash into the company in 2008. Today, Las Vegas Sands owns casinos including the Venetian Macau in China and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Milestones
  • 1933 Sheldon Gary Adelson is born in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
  • 1979 Creates the annual Comdex computer trade show.
  • 1989 Buys the Sands Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • 1995 Sells Intergroup conference business to SoftBank for $862 million.
  • 2004 Opens the Sands Macau casino.
  • 2004 Las Vegas Sands sells shares in an initial public offering.
  • 2007 Opens the Venetian Macau, one of the largest buildings on Earth.
  • 2010 Unveils the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore.