Sheldon Adelson death may move LVS online

LVS founder Sheldon Adelson brought Paris, Venice and London to Macau, the world’s most admired urban integrated resort to Singapore and conventions to Las Vegas.

The passing of Las Vegas Sands founder and megabillionaire Sheldon Adelson is expected to have little impact on the casino industry leader’s business. Sands President and COO Rob Goldstein will be the successor, at least for now.

A 25 year LVS veteran who successfully ran the company during Adelson’s 2019 cancer treatment and took the reins again last week when Adelson went on medical leave, Goldstein has the trust of Adelson’s widow, LVS controlling shareholder Dr Miriam Adelson, and of Wall Street. Sands CFO Patrick Dumont, married to Dr Adelson’s daughter, looms as a potential favorite son-in-law candidate for leadership, but the Israeli-born physician and her offspring are believed more focused on their native country’s politics than boardroom intrigue. Of course, new circumstances may change that and more.

Adelson spoke out forcefully against online gambling, citing the difficulties of policing it and highlighting its potential to undermine the billions invested in integrated resorts, as online shopping has done to department stores and shopping malls. Adelson’s passing increases the likelihood that LVS will join the casino industry’s march toward online play.

Staunch opposition to drug abuse – one of Adelson’s sons died of a drug overdose and Dr Adelson’s research centers on drug addiction – likely means that LVS will continue to hold out against marijuana use in casinos, regardless of any eventual industry consensus, as long as the Adelson family controls the company.

Adelson’s wealth made him one of the largest and most important political donors in the US and Israel. Adelson and I had our disagreements, but he did far more good than most of the politicians he bankrolled, a largely odious lineup that includes Benjamin Netanyahu, Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming, a contributor to Forbes, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.

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