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Sheldon Adelson, the founder and leader of Las Vegas Sands, which built a more than $800 million casino on a former Bethlehem Steel site, died Monday night at 87 years old from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the company announced Tuesday morning. Win real money online casino apps.
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Raised in Boston, Adelson went from selling newspapers on the street as a teenager to the billionaire founder of Las Vegas Sands, which has integrated resorts in Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore. Las Vegas Sands now has more than 50,000 employees.
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Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, which opened in 2009, was relatively small compared with the mega-resorts Adelson’s company developed and operated elsewhere.
Off-and-on sale rumors persistently swirled around the Bethlehem property, until a deal was announced in March 2018 to sell the facility to Wind Creek Hospitality, the gambling and hospitality arm of Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
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The $1.3 billion sale closed May 31, 2019, and the casino is now known as Wind Creek Bethlehem.
When the sale was announced, Adelson called Sands Bethlehem “one of the leading regional entertainment and gaming destinations in the United States.”
“We are extremely proud of the positive contributions the property has made for Bethlehem, the Lehigh Valley and Eastern Pennsylvania,” said Adelson, Las Vegas Sands’ chairman and CEO. “We are pleased to have built a strong foundation that can be the basis for the property’s future success and more importantly, we are proud to have delivered on our promise of bringing thousands of good paying jobs, generating significant economic impact and revitalizing a site of sentimental and historical importance.”
This story will be updated.
Morning Call reporter Jon Harris can be reached at 484-280-2866 or at [email protected]© Ethan Miller/Getty Images One of the richest men in the world, Adelson used his money to support right wing causes and medical research around the world.
MALIBU, CA — Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino owner and mega-Republican donor who was estimated to be the 19th richest person in the United States, died in Malibu on Monday at the age of 87, according to multiple reports.
Las Vegas Sands announced Adelson's death in a statement early Tuesday.
'Our founder and visionary leader, Sheldon G. Adelson, passed away last night at the age of 87 from complications related to treatment for non- Hodgkin's Lymphoma,' the statement said. 'Born to immigrant parents and raised in a poor section of Boston, Mr. Adelson went from a teenager selling newspapers on a street corner to becoming one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs, with an estimated net worth of $25 billion in 2020.
'His achievements in the integrated resort and hospitality industry are well-documented. In Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore, Mr. Adelson's vision for integrated resorts transformed the industry, changed the trajectory of the company he founded, and reimagined tourism in each of those markets. His impact on the industry will be everlasting.'
The Las Vegas Review Journal and the Washington Post both reported that Adelson died at his home in Malibu.
Adelson was born in 1933 to a working class Jewish family in the Dorchester section of Boston. When he was 12, he borrowed $200 from his uncle to sell newspapers on the streets of Boston, and borrowed $10,000 when he was 16 to start a candy vending machine business. After joining the army, he started several businesses: one that sold toiletry kits, another named De-Ice-It selling chemical spray to help clear frozen windshields, a charter tour business, and more. Over the course of his career, Adelson created over 50 businesses, and by his thirties he had built and lost a fortune twice.
In the 1970s, Adelson and his partners developed the COMDEX trade shows for the computer industry, which became one of the top computer trade shows through the 1980s and 90s. Adelson made $500 million from its sale. In 1989, he bought the Sands Hotel and Casino, and added a convention center. While honeymooning with his second wife in Venice, he conceived of a Venetian-themed resort, and in 1999 he tore down the existing Sands Hotel to build the $1.5 billion Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, an opulent Renaissance-style resort featuring gondoliers skimming down a faux Grand Canal. In 2007, he built the $2.5 billion Venetian Macao in China, and built many other hotel in Macau, Singapore, and Pennsylvania.
Owning a majority stake in many of these enterprises made Adelson a multi-billionaire. His fortune was estimated at $29.8 billion by Forbes magazine in 2019, but reached a zenith of $40.8 billion in 2014, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the 28th richest person in the world. According to the New York Times, Adelson's net worth grew $1 million an hour for two years straight after taking the Sands Corporation public in 2004.
Adelson used his tremendous wealth to advance right-wing causes in the United States and Israel. He was one of the most influential behind-the-scenes power brokers in Republican Party circles, using his enormous donations to lobby for conservative policies. He supported George W. Bush, New Gingrich, and Mitt Romney, and told Forbes in 2012 he was willing to spend $100 million to defeat then-President Barack Obama.
He was an early backer of President Donald Trump, and according to the New York Times, told him early in the 2016 campaign that he would contribute more to elect him than he had given to any previous campaign. He ended up donating $25 million to Trump's campaign, becoming its largest single donor. He also donated $5 million to Trump's 2017 inauguration committee.
On Wednesday Trump released a statement of condolence, writing, 'Melania and I mourn the passing of Sheldon Adelson .. his ingenuity, genius, and creativity earned him immense wealth, but his character and philanthropic generosity his great name.' [sic]
Many on Twitter noted that this was Trump's first written statement since protesters stormed the Capitol, and Trump has still not released a condolence statement for slain Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
Adelson was also active in Israeli politics, and encouraged U.S. leaders to support the hardline policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He owned several newspapers, including the Las Vegas Review Journal, and two right-wing Israeli newspapers.
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In addition to his political donations, Adelson has given hundreds of millions of dollars to Jewish charities over the years. The Los Angeles-based Adelson Foundation, established in 2007, has donated millions to Jewish hospitals, universities, and educational trips to Israel.
Las Vegas Sands said a funeral will be held in Israel, the birthplace of Adelson's wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, with plans for a memorial service in Las Vegas to be announced at a later date. A number of right wing politicians and celebrities, including Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, and Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted condolences, though many on Twitter were not quite so charitable, excoriating Adelson for what they perceived as aiding in the corrupting of American and Israeli governments.
Sheldon was a true American patriot and a giant among men. He treated his employees like family. His philanthropic generosity changed countless lives. The US-Israel relationship is stronger today because of him. My heart goes out to the Adelson family. https://t.co/AjZHPVsD1e— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 12, 2021
History will remember Sheldon Adelson as the man who did more than nearly anyone else to corrupt and debase two political systems, Israel’s and America’s— Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) January 12, 2021
— City News Service and Patch Editor Michael Wittner contributed to this report.
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