Sheldon Adelson has always only bet big. Whether he is betting on a new casino location, a controversial business model, or a conservative political candidate, he will invest hundreds of millions of dollars, even usually billions of dollars, after making a choice. However, the person he bet the most is himself-critics, competitors, and usually the opinions of his executives are ignored by him, because he bet his wealth on extremely accidental opportunities- —And never mind the consequences. “Some people call me an optimist,” Adelson said in an interview with Forbes in 2012. “The truth is, my appetite for risk is much greater than others, and my courage to stick to my beliefs is unshakable.”
American “gambling king” Sheldon Adelson passed away at the age of 87. Image source: Visual China Data Map
His arbitrariness may put Las Vegas Sands on the verge of bankruptcy (during the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, he refused to refinance debts or refused to suspend the construction of Macau casinos, which almost destroyed The company)-but Adelson’s desperate move finally paid off.
Adelson died of complications related to treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on January 11 this year. With his commercial income, he has become a pivotal figure in casinos, hotels, media and politics. At the time of his death, Forbes estimated that he had a net worth of 35 billion US dollars, which made him the 19th richest person in the world. Fortune gave Adelson a huge influence, far beyond his luxury casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, entertainment empires in Macau and Singapore, and newspapers in Israel and Nevada. Recently, in a government building in Washington, the almost endless political contributions he played as a Republican supporter may also accelerate or subvert the political career of some people.
From slum to luxury casino
Adelson’s fate as an important conservative figure is far from predestined. He grew up in the rudimentary Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. His parents are Jewish immigrants, his father is from Lithuania and his mother is from Wales. The family lives in a bedroom with no elevator, parents sleep on mattresses, and several children sleep on the floor. The street fighting on the streets taught him how to fight, and this also allowed Adelson to never avoid public criticism. “We have to go to school with at least four children,” Adelson said in an interview with Forbes about anti-Semitic behavior in the community when he was young. “Irish children will come out of bushes and apartments with rubber tubes, iron chains and copper knuckles in their hands.”
At the age of 12, due to the pressure of his life, he started doing business. At first he sold newspapers. Later he bought a vending machine and put it at a busy gas station where taxi drivers went to refuel 24 hours a day. (His father also A taxi driver). After graduating from high school, he joined the army, sold advertisements in financial publications, and later began to act as an intermediary between small banks and startups that needed funding. Soon, he began to organize a consortium of suburban banks to support commercial real estate, and later entered the booming apartment market. As he said to Forbes magazine: “It was in the 1970s, when most people still believed that the apartment was a form of contraception.” (The pronunciation of “apartment” and “condom” in English is somewhat similar. Annotation)
Next, he got involved in the hotel industry, then founded Interface, his trade show company, and eventually Comdex, an important technology summit at the beginning of the computer revolution in the 1980s. Comdex is headquartered in Las Vegas and attracts more than 100,000 customers every year. In 1989, Adelson had enough income from tenants to become owners, and acquired Sands Casino (Sands) for $129 million.
In 1995, he sold the Comdex Expo to the SoftBank Group for $890 million and invested the proceeds in the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas. This is a $1.5 billion casino with all suites, high-end shopping malls and restaurants, and large-scale event spaces. It can be said that it has helped shape the future of Las Vegas.
Global casino boss
The Venice Casino’s business strategy was successful, so Adelson looked for other cities around the world to replicate this strategy. His first focus was Macau, a dilapidated port city only a few hours’ drive from Hong Kong, which was rapidly transforming into Las Vegas, China. The Sands Macau (Sands Macau) opened in 2004. Although this is a rudimentary casino plus a small hotel, the larger and more luxurious Venetian Macao also opened in 2007. In the same year, Adelson borrowed US$10 billion to invest in a number of construction projects, including the US$1.9 billion expansion project in Las Vegas, the US$12 billion large-scale project in Macau’s Cotai Strip, and Singapore’s investment. The $5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands hotel (Marina Bay Sands). It seems that Adelson is lucky. Then, in 2008, the subprime mortgage crisis broke out. Spark Global Limited
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