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Gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, nightlife one place that has it all-Las Vegas.There are reportedly 136 casinos in Las Vegas, majority of them are owned by two companies the MGM Resorts International and Caesar’s Entertainment. However, there are a few handfuls of individuals who also own Casinos. The wealthiest among them is Sheldon Adelson, with a net worth of 31.1 Billion. Shockingly with the world going online, Sheldon is against online Casinos.

Adelson was born in 1933 and grew up in Dorchester, Boston. His parents immigrated from Wales and Lithuania. His mother operated a small knitting shop. Young Adelson would sleep on the floor of a Boston tenement. Even though his father did not have any money, he did leave Adelson with advice, “never lie about anything, you have got to be honest”. Maybe it is his honesty, that made him the most outspoken individual in Vegas. His father had a habit that affected the family, he was a gambler.

At 12, Adelson borrowed $200 from an uncle and started selling newspapers on street corners. Adelson saved enough money to attend New York’s City College for finance. However, he decided to drop out and join the U.S. Army to fight in Korean War. He also worked as a court stenographer on Wall Street. Being a stenographer helped him meet and make important connections with wealthy individuals in the business. By now he had saved enough money to invest in various businesses.

Sheldon started off by selling toiletry kits. His next venture was a start-up business called the American International Travel Service, the business soon became a multi-million-dollar firm. This was his most profitable business to date, but as it is in businesses, he lost his fortune when the stock market declined in the late 1960s.

Adelson was on the lookout for opportunities, while attending a trade convention on condominiums in Anaheim, California, Adelson read that a magazine on condominiums had started the convention. This gave him an idea, he decided to start a convention for computers. He created Computer Dealer Expo known as COMDEX. This is where he made his first big fortune, computers at the time were not as popular, many business owners told him that they were not interested in buying or selling computers. But Adelson believed in COMDEX and never backed down. Within a year the company quadrupled in value, much more than what Adelson was expecting. By 1995, Adelson sold COMDEX to SoftBank Corporation for $862 million; Adelson’s walked out with over $500 million.

At 55 Adelson was planning to change Las Vegas. He was focusing on a convention-based marketing business model, something that was unheard of in 1988. He and his partners purchased the Sands Hotel and Casino for $128 million. However, when he looked closely at refurbishing it, he soon realized that the cost of repairing would be a lot more, so he tore it down completely and designed a new casino. With the vision to provide outdoor Gondola Rides, a place to gamble, shops and feature the best entertainments, the Venetian opened doors in 1999. In the late 2000s, Adelson decided to build a casino resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It is one of five stand-alone casinos that were awarded a slots license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in 2006.

In 2002 Adelson wanted to go international, his next casino venture was in Macau, China, the Chinese gambling city. The Sands Macau opened its doors in 2004, built on the principle of affordable luxury and the best amenities, the Sands Macau became an instant international success, he recovered his initial $265 million investment in one year. Because he owned 69% of the stock, when he took the company public in December 2004, his personal wealth jumped fourteen times higher. Adelson was now the third-richest person in the U.S. In 2010, Adelson opened another casino resort in Singapore’s Marina Bay, the Marina Bay Sands for $5.5 billion.

Marina Bay Sands

With 4 casino locations, you would think his next move would be to take casinos online. But Adelson is not a big fan of the online world when it comes to casinos. To understand why we need to look at his childhood. Because his father was a gambler, he understands the effect gambling has on families. By taking casinos online, you never know who is gambling, and under what conditions. As with things online, retailers never physically see their customers, and in the gambling world, that’s a problem. As gamblers could be minor, for that reason, Adelson believes that online gambling should not exist.

Through hard work, Sheldon Adelson had become one of the wealthiest men in America. He did not allow his personal failures and setbacks to stop him from achieving his goals.