Behind the phenomenon of gambling industry, there are definite individuals. The attitude to them is ambiguous. Some people consider them to be talented businessmen, respect them and learn from them. Others, conversely, condemn them. Doubtless is only one thing – these people are extraordinary, often venturesome, but at the same time they have business acumen, feel the demands of time, they can correctly estimate the potential of their future enterprises. Particularly such people gain millions of dollars from gambling industry.
Presently he is the richest representative of the gambling industry. He owns the corporation «Las Vegas Sands», which controls the casino-hotel «Venetian» in Vegas and и «Venetian» in Macao. The life of Sheldon reminds of a classical story about an American dream. The future billionaire was born in 1933 in Boston in a poor Jewish-Ukrainian emigrant family. He had to work since early childhood. He earned his first money by selling newspapers on the streets. Practically without any education, the self-made man Sheldon became one of the best financiers in the USA. While working as financial advisor, he breathed new life into more than 50 companies. Adelson was one of the first businessmen who believed in the future of IT technologies. The international show-exhibition of IT-technologies “COMDEX” was his brainchild. In 1995 he sold it to the Japanese for 860 mln dollars.
The businessman came to the gambling market in 1989 buying the casino-hotel “Sands” in Las-Vegas, which was earlier owned by Frank Sinatra. Understanding that one more casino in Vegas is trivial and that is why relatively unprofitable, he decides to transform the capital of gambling into the international business center, in order to attract rich entrepreneurs (potential players) to his casino. Within several years Adelson built the business centre «Sands Expo». In 1991 he invested one and a half billion dollars for building the casino-hotel «Venetian». The new casino was targeted not only at players, but also at businessmen who came to his new business center. As many experts acknowledge, “Venetian” is one of the most beautiful casino-hotels in the world. There are more than 4000 rooms, 18 restaurants, a trade center (emporium), and all this is at the background of Venetian channels, with gondolas sailing and gondoliers singing their famous songs. In 2004 Adelson opened the casino “Venetian” in Macao, the first casino of Las Vegas type in Asia. In May 2006 he managed to obtain a permit for building a casino in Singapore, which will presumably be opened in 2009. It is planned that more than 3 billion dollars will be invested into its construction.
At the moment, according to “Forbes”, Adelson’s fortune is 16.1 billion dollars, i.e. he is number 14 in the world rating of the wealthiest people of the planet.
This figure of gambling industry can be without exaggerations called the most experienced and sophisticated. He is the living legend, one of the “fathers of Las Vegas”. Kirk was born in 1917 in the town of Fresno (California) in the family of Armenian emigrants. In his youth he was actively engaged in boxing and participated in single combats, but at the age of 22 all of a sudden he decided to quit sport – the desire to learn to fly captivated his entire personality. During WW II Kirk became a pilot of British royal air force. Upon returning to his homeland, in 1947 he paid 60 thousand dollars and bought a small air company that specialized on charter flights between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He abandoned this business only in 1968, having sold it for 108 mln dollars. Frequently visiting Vegas, he realizes the huge potential of this city. In 1962 Kirk buys 80 acres of land on the famous The Strip, not far from the legendary casino “Flamingo”. The land at that time cost him 960 thousand dollars. The investment was not vain, approximately at this time there started the gambling boom and many companies became interested in gambling industry. The renowned casino «Caesars Palace» is built on his land, which he grants on lease. In 1969 he sells it, having thus earned more than 9 million dollars.
In 1967 Kirk buys 82 more acres of the “precious” land and builds «International Hotel», which was the biggest hotel in the world at that time. In order to make the hotel popular and attract potential players, Kirk hires Elvis Presley for concerts. At that time he also buys the casino “Flamingo”, which he resells in 1970 to the corporation “Hilton”. 1973 was crucial for Kirk. He invested most of his assets into buying the film studio “MGM” and builds the casino-hotel “MGM Grand” under the brand of his new company. Now this hotel becomes the biggest in the world. At the moment Kirk Kerkorian owns the corporation «Tracinda», which has the controlling stock of «MGM Mirage» (casino in Nevada, New Jersey, Macao etc). Kirk’s interests are not limited only to gambling industry. He owns 10% of the shares of «General Motors». All this allows him to be number 53 in the «Forbes» world rating, having the fortune of 8.7 billion dollars.
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By Arthur Prudent
Arthur Prudent is the developer of www.bonus-map.com, web site covering gambling news, features reviews on Casinos, Poker rooms, bingos, Sports Betting bonuses promotions and more.
Sharks of gambling industry. Part 1.