Washington, Jan 12 (efe-epa).- Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate and one of the United States’ biggest Republican Party donors, has died of complications related to his treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the casino and resort company he founded and led, Las Vegas Sands, said Tuesday. He was 87.
The son of a taxi driver from Lithuania, Adelson built a global gambling empire with casinos in Las Vegas and the southeastern Asian cities of Macau and Singapore.
“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 re-imagined tourism in each of those markets. His impact on the industry will be everlasting,” the Paradise, Nevada-based company he headed as CEO and chairman said in a statement.
Adelson, who died on Monday night in Malibu, California, was regarded as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, with a net worth estimated at nearly $40 billion.
An influential figure in the conservative movement for many years, he was a close friend of outgoing President Donald Trump and was one of the first large donors to support his campaign in 2016.
Also a big donor to conservative causes in Israel, Adelson had a front-row seat for the 2018 opening ceremony for the new US Embassy in Jerusalem.
A so-called “serial entrepreneur” who founded dozens of businesses during his career, Adelson’s legacy will include pioneering the concept of the “integrated resort,” under which luxury hotel-casinos and convention centers were combined as part of one property.
A prime example of this innovation is his The Venetian on the Las Vegas Strip.
Having been born into poverty in Boston in 1933 and sold newspapers to make money as pre-teen, he launched the widely read Tel Aviv free paper Israel Hayom in 2007 and went onto purchase a newspaper – the Las Vegas Review-Journal – that was the only large US daily to support Trump’s candidacy in 2016.
According to that Las Vegas paper, Adelson created his company to purchase the legendary Sands Hotel and Casino and then took the pioneering step of building the Sands Expo and Convention Center alongside it.
The idea was to allow business travelers to complement their meetings during the day with entertainment at night.
Never fearful of taking risks, Adelson imploded the Sands Hotel and Casino in late 1996 and built The Venetian Las Vegas, a highly successful luxury hotel complex that also includes the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the adjacent Palazzo luxury hotel and casino resort.
The Venetian has served as a model for many other complexes on the Las Vegas Strip. EFE-EPA