Casino Mogul Sheldon Adelson Is Battling Cancer

Sheldon Adelson in May of 2016.
The billionaire and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

30-second summary

  • Billionaire and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is reportedly suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • He is the 15th richest man in the world and is responsible for the Venetian Casino
  • He was the largest donor during the 2016 presidential election, giving $30m to the Trump campaign
  • Adelson has been at the center of a number of controversies in recent years

Background of Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson is a billionaire who is well known for his casino empire and for being a major contributor to the GOP. He is the founder, chief executive officer, and chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

The corporation owns Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and is also the parent corporation of the Venetian Macao Limited, which operates the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Adelson also has a number of other major business interests, including being the owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

According to Forbes magazine, he is the 15th richest man in the world with a fortune of about $33bn (£25bn). Adelson was the biggest contributor to either of the major parties in the 2012 and 2016 US presidential elections.

He was the biggest donor to the Trump campaign, contributing $30m (£23m) during the 2016 election campaign and subsequent inauguration. During the midterms in 2018, he made contributions worth about $100m (£76m) to the Republican Party.

Details of these health problems

The 85-year-old has not been in the company offices in Las Vegas since the Christmas period. Adelson has been a regular on his company’s earnings calls, but he was not at the most recent such meeting on January 23.

A company attorney made public the extent of Adelson’s health problems during a court case. Speaking during the court case, the attorney spoke of how he had only recently heard “of the dire nature of Mr. Adelson’s condition, health.”

There had been enquiries about whether Adelson would be fit and able for a deposition. The Las Vegas Sands Corporation recently issued a statement that he is being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.

The court case which is awaiting a deposition from Adelson involves a Hong Kong businessman, Richard Suen. He is seeking compensation because he says he played a significant role in the acquisition of a license in Macau for Adelson’s company. Sands is arguing that Suen didn’t give any help that was crucial in this process and he should not receive anything.

Other controversies

There was a recent controversy involving Adelson and his company. Casinos have only been legal in Japan for a couple of years and it was only in 2018 that resort casinos became legal.

Three of these resort casino licenses are available and the application process has yet to start. These licenses will be highly sought by major casino operators across the world.

ProPublica alleged that President Trump was helping Adelson to obtain one of these licenses during a meeting in February 2017 between Trump and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The publication claimed that these casino licenses came up in conversation. Allegedly, Trump pushed the case for the Las Vegas Sands Group.

This meeting came just a day after Adelson had dinner with Abe, along with a number of other casino stakeholders in the United States. There was no indication as to whether or not casinos came up in discussion during this dinner.

ProPublica said that an insider gave them this information. This insider allegedly said that Abe was surprised that Trump brought up this issue during their meeting, which usually focuses on bilateral issues such as national security and not to promote specific business opportunities.

Abe did go public on the issue, saying that President Trump did not intervene on behalf of any individual US company. He went on to say that even if Trump had done so, it would not have been taken under consideration.