Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# 26 Sheldon Adelson $35.5B

Random fact: Never graduated from college.


Adelson is chairman and majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands, the world's largest casino operator. The Las Vegas-based business controls casino resorts and convention centers in the U.S. and Asia. He owns more than half of the publicly traded company, which had about 51,000 employees and revenue of $13.7 billion in 2019.

As of :
Last change -$1.57B ( -4.2%)
YTD change -$3.10B ( -8.1%)
Industry Entertainment
Biggest asset LVS US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 86
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Sheldon Adelson's net worth of $35.5B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Adelson's fortune is derived from Las Vegas Sands, the world's largest casino operator, according to the company's 2019 proxy statement. The billionaire controls about 55% of the publicly traded company directly, through his wife and several family trusts, according to the statement.

Adelson has collected more than $8 billion in Sands dividends, based on an analysis of Bloomberg data as of January 2020, and sold shares valued at about $3 billion in 2005 and 2006. Two years later, he and his wife gave $1 billion to the company in two installments to help stave off bankruptcy during the financial crisis. They received warrants and 5.25 million preferred shares in exchange. Las Vegas Sands bought the preferred shares for $577.5 million in November 2011.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of these transactions, taxes, market performance, political and charitable giving, and include the value of his personal real estate.


Birthdate: 8/4/1933
Family: Married, 5 children

Gambling's richest man grew up poor, the son of a Boston cab driver. At age 12, Adelson borrowed money from an uncle to sell newspapers on two street corners. Some of his first jobs included selling ads in trade magazines and serving as a court reporter. He made his first fortune in trade shows.

He unveiled the Comdex technology conference with partners in 1979. They sold what became one of the most attended trade shows in the world, plus more than a dozen smaller shows, to SoftBank for $862 million in 1995.

Adelson parlayed the windfall into the casino business. He bought the Sands Hotel in 1989 and demolished it to build the all-suites Venetian resort, courting business travelers instead of tourists to the Las Vegas Strip. In 2002, he won one of three licenses to operate casinos in China, and opened the Sands Macau two years later. Adelson's Las Vegas Sands sold shares in 2004, and their soaring price helped Adelson to become the third-richest person in the U.S. in 2007.

The declining economy forced him to infuse $1 billion of his own cash into the company in 2008. Today, Las Vegas Sands owns casinos including the Venetian Macau in China and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

  • 1933 Sheldon Gary Adelson is born in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
  • 1979 Creates the annual Comdex computer trade show.
  • 1989 Buys the Sands Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • 1995 Sells Intergroup conference business to SoftBank for $862 million.
  • 2004 Opens the Sands Macau casino.
  • 2004 Las Vegas Sands sells shares in an initial public offering.
  • 2007 Opens the Venetian Macau, one of the largest buildings on Earth.
  • 2010 Unveils the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore.