REVEALED: Which casino mogul tops the Forbes billionaires’ rich list?

  • Top ten billionaires puts Las Vegas Sands’ Sheldon Adelson at No.1
  • Strong Asian representation in top 10
  • Moguls with online casino interests feature highly

Once again casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has found himself at the top of the Forbes billionaires’ rich list when it comes to gambling business wealth.

Sheldon Adelson, left, is at the top of the casino mogul tree, but James Packer, right, has slipped down the league, according to Forbes.
Sheldon Adelson, left, is at the top of the casino mogul tree, but James Packer, right, has slipped down the league, according to Forbes.

But it hasn’t been the greatest 12 months for Aussie James Packer, casino owner and major shareholder of Crown Resorts, as he has dropped to 660th place on Forbes World’s Billionaires List with a worth of $3 billion. After his high-profile engagement to Mariah Carey came to a bitter end, Packer also suffered business problems, as well as having to split some of his father’s fortune with his sister, Gretel.

CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner claims Packer’s fall is partly due to Crown Resorts’ drop in value: “It peaked at $18.22 in January 2014, compared to the current price of $11.62 … that is a major decline,” Spooner said.

In 2016, 15 Crown staff were implicated in currency smuggling and arrested by the Chinese government. Crown also announced it would be abandoning attempts to build a Las Vegas casino, as well as drastically reducing its stake in Melco Crown Entertainment and Macau, the ‘Vegas of China’.

Other casino billionaires fare better

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, finds himself at 20th place on the list and in first place among casino billionaires.

Who are the world’s biggest casino/gambling moguls?

1. Sheldon Adelson United States: $30.4 billion
2. Lui Che Woo, Hong Kong: $12.1 billion
3. Johann Graf, Austria: $7.2 billion
4. Mark Scheinburg, United States: $4.5 billion
5. Pansy Ho, Hong Kong: $4.2 billion
6. Angela Leong, Hong Kong: $4.1 billion
7. Gabe Newell, United States: $4.1 billion
8. Denise Coates, United Kingdom: $3.6 billion
9. Han Chang-Woo, Japan: $3.4 billion
10. Teddy Sagi, Israel: $3.1 billion

According to Forbes’ list, 83-year-old Adelson has an empire worth $30.4 billion, $5 million of which he reportedly donated to Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign.

Lui Che Woo, chairman of Galaxy Entertainment Group is second on the list of casino billionaires, with a net worth of $12.1bn. 2016 saw an almost 50% increase in his wealth as a result of improved casino revenues. Galaxy operates in the casino haven of Macau, China.

Mark Scheinburg, co-founder of PokerStars, is the highest placed casino billionaire to have made his fortune from online gambling. Fourth on the list with a worth of $4.5 billion, Scheinberg was the single biggest shareholder of Rational Group (parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker), which sold for $4.9 billion in 2014.

Another billionaire who has made money in the online sphere is Denise Coates of Bet365, which is perhaps known primarily as a sports betting brand, but also has an online casino.

Finally Teddy Sagi, the billionaire co-founder of online casino games developer Playtech, rounds off the top 10.

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