Billionaire Sets Sights on Casino Mecca

Published September 10, 2008

Billionaire Sets Sights on Casino Mecca

Gambling tycoon, Sheldon Adelson in talks with ministers regarding the construction of a Vegas-style casino complex in India.

Billionaire businessman, Sheldon Adelson, is considering investing as much as $14 billion in creating a Las Vegas-style casino city in India.

Adelson, who controls the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has been negoti¬ating the project with India's commerce and tourism ministers. Adelson told the Indian press that the subcontinent's population of 1.1 billion justifies the establishment of a gambling city in Asia.

According to the Forbes magazine's 2008 ratings, 75 year old Adelson is the 12th richest man in the world with a net worth of 26 billion dollars.

Adelson, the son of a cabdriver, borrowed $200 from his uncle to sell newspapers at age of 12. He went on to make his first fortune in trade shows. In the mid-80's he created the computer industry's marquee event, Comdex, and sold the show to Japan's Softbank in 1995 for $862 million.

He then bought the Sands Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for $128 million and demolished it to build the $1.5 billion all-suites Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the 1.2-million-square-foot Sands Convention Center.

Adelson changed the way casinos do business by enticing conventioneers to Sin City midweek and taking the emphasis off gambling. He sold suites for $250 a night, added high-end retailers and celebrity-chef restaurants. In 2004 he floated Las Vegas Sands on the stock exchange.

In the past year Adelson unveiled the $2.4 billion Venetian Macau. This is a 10.5 million-square-foot mega-resort featuring 3,400 slots, 800 tables, 3,000 suites and a convention center.

Last year Adelson won the coveted Singapore gaming license and is building the $3.6 billion Marina Bay Sands on 51-acre site.

If anyone can build another gambling city anywhere in the world, it is Sheldon Adelson!

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