Sheldon Adelson Controversial casino entrepreneur has died at the age of 87 due to cancer, according to his company, Las Vegas Sands, to through a statement.

Adelson stood out as one of the loyal supporters of Donald Trump, to whose 2017 campaign and inauguration as president in January 2018 he contributed important financial contributions.

The son of a taxi driver, Adelson, one of the Americans who has made the most money in the shortest time, had a  fortune of 25,000 million dollars and was feared for his  “aggressive way of doing business,” according to industry experts. He was also a Jewish asset who donated millions of dollars to pro-Israel organizations.

Adelson was “a tough guy to work with and very bossy, ” according to Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of the Gambling Industry who often deals with former employees of the mogul. Passionate about airplanes and the owner of several private jets, he was also an extravagant man with sour humor: on one occasion an investor asked him about the Eurovegas project and he said that, from Spain, he loves food and tapas.

Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson

From Las Vegas to success

The son of Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe, Adelson was considered a self-made man with an entrepreneurial vision since childhood. He grew up in a house with just one room, dropped out of school, sold newspapers at the age of 12, and started a business with jelly beans at 16, according to ‘The Atlantic’ magazine. Over the years he would also sell cleaning supplies for hotels with his brother and he was in the mortgage business.

Despite not understanding computers, he and a couple of friends from his Boston neighborhood, who called themselves “the boys”, set up Comdex in the eighties, a computer fair that for a couple of decades was strong in Las Vegas. In  Las Vegas, the so-called “city of vice,” was where Adelson starred in his true rise, which enriched him to compete with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for being the richest man in the United States.

It was in this city when, on November 26, 1996, Adelson marked a turning point in his way of doing business, conceiving casinos, and even being rich. According to the Las Vegas tourist guides, he did it big. With fireworks, the businessman ordered the demolition of the old Las Vegas Sands hotel, separated himself from his partners and, despite entering an age of retirement, started a  new project called Venetian . That hotel, which opened in 1999, became the cornerstone of his current businessman-led gambling empire , Las Vegas Sands. And even then in the American city neither the project nor its mentor went unnoticed.

Adelson was noted because his pulse did not tremble to engage with suppliers, workers and especially with the unions, sometimes in court. It became the  first complex in the area without union representatives  among its workforce, US media say.

Revolutionary model

His project did not go unnoticed because it  revolutionized the casino model : the objective was to  attract businessmen . The Venetian did away with the empty rooms that invited down to the gaming tables and incorporated the minibar, the then precious fax and everything that was needed to improve the client’s stay and make it compatible with work.

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