Adelson’s wallet takes a tumble on the Forbes list as his Macau casinos continue to bleed cash.
A man who has made a $40 billion fortune from the gambling losses of others got a taste of his own medicine this past year. Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands remains the world’s wealthiest casino tycoon, but his finances took a major hit during the 2014.
Forbes reported that his personal fortune lost $8.9 billion over the course of the year, and he has fallen from 9th to 23rd place in the list of the World’s richest.
Adelson owns plush luxury casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Singapore, and Macau. While the latter city has been his primary cash cow for the past decade, business took a major turn for the worse over the latter half of 2014.
Macau on a steep downslope
Adelson’s two Macau casinos, the Macau Sands and Venetian Macau, have lost money due to Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on corruption. Chinese gambling laws have left the industry untouched, but the government is cracking down on the popular practice of corrupt officials using casinos to launder money.
With China’s “high rollers” staying away from the city, revenue is way down and Macau’s casinos have lost a combined $75 billion in stock market value. Earlier this month President Xi Jingping visited the city but gave no indication that his anti-corruption drive will let up.