GAMING KING SHELDON ADELSON: “The real wealth has changed only one thing in my life: I got the opportunity to do charity work”
“You don’t always have to come up with something completely new. If you take an old idea, for example, vending machines or gambling houses, and present it in a new wrapper, success will not be long in coming,” casino owner and American billionaire Sheldon Adelson wrote in a business magazine column shortly before his death.
They say that at the very end of his life he was eager to tell young people how to create his own successful business. And let the spiteful critics say that Adelson made his fortune on human weaknesses and addiction – the desire to play and win – he launched about 50 more companies of different plans. They all proved to be successful.
Sheldon Adelson’s mom was Ukrainian, and her dad was a Lithuanian emigrant of Jewish origin. He was born in Boston in 1933 and had almost no carefree childhood. At the age of 10, Sheldon was already working – selling newspapers, looking into the eyes of passers-by with hope, took on any job. They say that he had his first business two years later – the boy saved up money and opened his own shop for selling various small things.
Sheldon Adelson has always had a special flair and enterprise. “When I was 16, I bought vending machines,” he said. By the way, for this venture he had to borrow $ 10 thousand. “At that time, they were only installed in factories, which meant that you could buy snacks only during the working week. Therefore, I brought the machines to gas stations, because there were constant queues of drivers every day. And the money flowed like a river”.
Inspired by such a quick success, the Boston businessman was soon forced to abandon his business – the local mafia began to monitor him, and it became dangerous to ignore it.
Sheldon Adelson did not want to share his own money with dishonest people. And he was looking for a new job again – working in delivery, selling hotel toiletries, being a court reporter, an exhibition organizer, a theater entrepreneur, a stenographer, an investment consultant and more.
IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON
Sheldon’s family was very poor. He wrote in his memoirs that there was only one bed in the house, and the children were forced to huddle on the floor. Everything that the lucky son brought home was immediately signed for various needs. However, the Adelson family also remembered those who had even more difficulties. Once Sheldon witnessed how his father set aside part of the money for charity.
In the future he writes how he asked his father about this and how he learned the most important lesson in his life: “‘Dad, we are poor ourselves, why are you saving this money?” He replied: “‘Yes, we are poor, but this money is for those who are even poorer than us”. I have remembered this lesson for the rest of my life”.
Later, becoming the owner of the large gambling corporation Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson will finance the initiatives of the Jews and all kinds of their programs. For example, the Taglit program, in which hundreds of thousands of young American Jews will visit the Holy Land for free. It will generously fund education and medicine, as well as finance programs to preserve the environment and combat global warming.
“The real wealth has changed only one thing in my life: I got the opportunity to do charity work,” Sheldon Adelson said with satisfaction.
“Money needs to be earned where there is money,” – this catchphrase of the tycoon Sheldon Adelson was known by heart by all employees of the Las Vegas Sands gambling corporation. He drew attention to Las Vegas, organizing an exhibition of computer technologies COMDEX with partners.
The annual venture became very popular, and Adelson, having saved up money, acquired the first gambling house here in 1988 – The Sands Hotel & Casino. Later, he demolished the institution and rebuilt his own Venice in its place – the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, in the spirit of an Italian city. There is a canal and gondolas run by real Italian gondoliers.
This luxury cost Sheldon Adelson $ 1.5 billion, but it was worth it. Soon, the institution will have an unprecedentedly huge assets at its disposal – $ 22 billion. It has become one of the most expensive hotel and entertainment complexes in Las Vegas, as well as a status venue for conferences and meetings of business people.
By the way, Adelson was not a gambler. “If I’m in the mood, I take a few hundred dollars and I can go play. But I’m not a player,” he said. His other Venice – the casino resort The Venetian Macao – he built in Macau, China and immediately became the third richest man in the world with a capital of $ 28 billion. Soon he lost more than half of his fortune due to the economic crisis and problems with the PRC government.
Then he built Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, The Parisian Macao in Macau. Each subsequent object of Sheldon Adelson was striking in its scope. The most ambitious was supposed to be EuroVegas in Spain, worth $ 30 billion, but the idea was not destined to be realized due to disagreements with the Spanish government. Officials did not agree to make concessions to Sheldon Adelson and reduce taxes on the gambling business.
The billionaire was an ardent opponent of the legalization of online casinos in the United States, and also directed his personal funds to combat drug addiction. He considered his establishments to be just places of leisure, nothing more. And he made sure that there were more and more people covered by his charitable aid. He passed away with dignity, remaining in the memory of many as a philanthropist, and only then as a gambling king and billionaire.