US casino billionaire magnate Sheldon Adelson reportedly lost an estimated $8.9 billion of his own wealth during 2014 according to media reports.
Adelson, 81, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has spent the year campaigning against online gambling and it appears that this opposition to the online industry has had a severe impact on Adelson’s own fortune.
It has been suggested that Adelson’s loss in wealth has come through revenue hits to Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, the struggling Macau casino market, and a $47 million settlement with the US Justice Department to help deal with a money laundering charge.
The loss in wealth now means that Adelson has dropped to being the 23rd richest individual in the world having previously held the position of 9th with a fortune of $36.4 billion at the end of 2013. However, the financial loss will add to an embarrassing end to 2014 for the casino owner.
Earlier this month, the servers at the Adelson-owned Las Vegas Sands were brought down during a retaliatory hacking after Adelson caused controversy with comments claiming that Iran should be “nuked” back in October.
After explaining that a US government official should drop an atomic bomb on Iran, Adelson then said “Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes’.”
Adelson will be determined to turn his fortunes around in 2015 with his fight against the legalisation of online gambling set to continue and the financial figures of his casino properties in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Macau anticipated to experience an increase.