The Big Wigs in the Casino World
The casino world is filled with high-rolling gamblers, but we thought we’d take a moment to talk about the investors: who are these fascinating people who fund the casinos themselves? Here’s more about some of the names behind the world’s biggest casino empires and what they’re doing now.
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Kirk Kekorian: MGM
Do you know the MGM Lion? Of course you do! Kirk Kerkorian, born in 1917 and deceased in 2015, was responsible for heading the MGM empire, which consisted of casinos, resorts and movie studios. His life was record-breaking, and even his death got him a record – apparently as the world’s second-oldest billionaire at the time. His NY Times obituary can be read here. Oh, and he topped the “largest hotel in Las Vegas” record three times himself, building the International Hotel, the MGM Grand Hotel.
James Packer: Crown Resorts
James Packer is an Australian investor, and might be better known as the face behind the highly successful Australian casino chain Crown Resorts. In March 2018, he announced that he was retiring from his casino empire entirely, and cited only “mental health issues” as a reason. He was facing mounting pressure to expand Crown Resorts into a global empire, and according to an article in Sydney Morning Herald (2017), Packer was convinced that his attempt at global expansion had failed, which might have contributed to his sudden retirement.
Stanley Ho: SJM Holdings
Stanley Ho has been called Macau’s “King of Gambling” and the “godfather of the casino industry” – it’s not hard to see why, considering that he’s one of the top richest men in Asia. How well did he do? The Fabulous Life of Stanley Ho (BusinessInsider, 2015) estimates that Ho’s empire brought in as much as 80% of Macau’s total revenue. According to the same article, there were 18 casinos with a 19th on the way in 2015.
Stanley Ho also announced his sudden retirement from the casino industry in April 2018, stepping down from SJM Holdings at the age of 96.
Sol Kerzner: Sun International
Sol Kerzner was born in 1935, and the South African magnate is best known for founding Sun International – a massive company which has included ventures like Sun City in South Africa. He quickly branched out into the casino industry abroad, also founding the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, USA in 1996. In 2002, he founded One&Only Resorts, and somewhere in the 90s he purchased and revamped the hugely successful Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas.
Sheldon Adelson: Las Vegas Sands
Sheldon Adelson is the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, which Forbes notes is the largest casino chain in the US. Among others, Las Vegas Sands Corporation owns The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino and the Marina Bay Sands in Las Vegas – a feat which makes him the 16th richest person in the world. His casino empire has expanded worldwide, including to Macau, Singapore and Pennsylvania.
Just a few big names to drop! Did we get you in the mood to play a few rounds? Why not get started with some online blackjack?