Lifestyles of the World’s Richest Casino Owners

When it comes to making money like a boss, no one does it better than a casino mogul. These guys make bank (we’re talking $32 million each day), and the only thing piling higher than their stacks of cash are their multi-billion dollar casino resorts. For sure, the world’s wealthiest casino CEOs make top dollar and represent some of the richest people in the world. Here’s a look into the billionaire lifestyle of these moguls.

Sheldon Adelson - Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands

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Worth $39 billion, Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson earns an average of $32 million each day

When it comes to the world’s richest casino owners, no one is bigger and badder than Sheldon Adelson. As the Founder and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, Adelson earns an average of $32 million each day from his booming business enterprises. Altogether, Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands company is worth more than all American casinos combined.

Worth $39 billion today, this self-made billionaire grew up in a poor family in Boston where he started his first business selling newspapers at age 12. The man never finished college, but ended up becoming a millionaire by age 30. Adelson got his start in the casino industry back in 1988 after purchasing the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, an old hangout for guys like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Adelson has followed the old adage, ‘the rich get richer’, and today his casino assets include the famous Venetian Casino Las Vegas which replicates Venice, Italy complete with canals and gondola boats. He also owns the world’s largest casino, the Venetian Macao Casino Resort in Macau, China as well as the Marina Bay Casino in Singapore, Palazzo Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, and the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Aside from his gambling empire which spans from the United States to Asia, Adelson works as a political activist, philanthropist, and owns the Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom. It’s no surprise that Sheldon Adelson’s house could be a casino resort in itself. His Las Vegas mega mansion measures a whopping 44,000 square feet.

Dr. Lui Che Woo – Chairman of Galaxy Casino

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No wonder he's smiling! With a net worth of $21 billion, Dr. Lui Che Woo currently ranks as the second richest man in Asia.

Coming in next is an 82 year old casino owner who only recently got his hands in the industry. Originally from Jiangmen, China, Dr. Lui Che Woo currently ranks as the second richest man in Asia with a net worth of $21 billion. The big and rich doctor first built his fortune by developing multi-national conglomerates involving properties, entertainment and leisure, construction materials, and hotels with more than 20,000 employees in Hong Kong, China, Macau, Southeast Asia, and North America.

The old timer only entered Macau’s gaming industry a few years back in 2011 when his company opened the Galaxy Macau Casino and Hotel. The $2 billion casino has 2,200 rooms, 50 restaurants, 450 gaming tables, and an artificial beach and wave pool.

What do rich people do with all of that money while they’re not running their billion dollar ventures? This casino tycoon has made a name for himself as a distinguished philanthropist, devoting much of his efforts to the development of medical care and education.

Stanley Ho (Ho Hung Sun) – The King of Macau

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For 40 years, Stanley Ho had a monopoly on Macau's gambling industry after winning an exclusive legal license to operate all gambling establishments.

The next man on our list also hails from the Far East. For the past 40 years, Stanley Ho has had full reign over the world’s largest gambling city thanks to a government-granted license that gave him exclusive rights to operate all casinos in Macau. Although Ho no longer holds the monopoly, he still controls 15 of Macau’s 18 casinos. They don’t call him “The King of Macau” for nothing!

This casino tycoon is no spring chicken, and the 92 year old has a life story like something out of a movie. The Hong Kong native first arrived in Macau after the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during the outbreak of World War II. There he became partner of an import-export firm at the ripe old age of 22! Mr. Ho then went on to make his fortune by smuggling luxury goods across the Chinese border during World War II.

Stanley Ho first broke into the gaming industry in 1960 after winning the public tender for Macau’s gaming monopoly. Since, he has made an enormous fortune from real estate, banking, and tourism in Macau and Asia. Somewhere between operating dozens of casinos and making billion in banking, he found the time to father 17 children to 4 women, all of which he refers to as his wives. (Polygamy remained legal in Hong Kong until 1971.)

Today, Ho is one of the richest people on our list with a net worth somewhere around $4.8 billion. This includes $3.5 billion from his Casino Lisboa, the world’s highest grossing casino. His gaming operation also includes casinos, greyhound racing, lotteries, and horse betting in addition to scores of property that he owns throughout Asia.

Steve Wynn - Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts

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When Steve Wynn opened The Mirage Casino in 1989, it was the only themed casino in Las Vegas. Today, he is worth $4 billion.

Our list wouldn’t be complete without casino owners in Vegas, just as Las Vegas wouldn’t look the same today without help from our next casino magnate, Steve Wynn. Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, Mr. Wynn gets credit for building Sin City’s first themed casino, now a given for most casino resorts in Las Vegas. At the time of its construction in 1989, The Mirage was the first of its kind with its South Sea theme that even included an erupting volcano. The Mirage Casino subsequently ignited a $12 billion building boom on the Las Vegas Strip.

Wynn isn’t only one of the wealthiest casino owners in Las Vegas – he went on to build some of the most well-known casino resorts in the world, including the Golden Nugget, Treasure Island, Bellagio Casino Hotels, Wynn, and Encore. He also brought Cirque du Soleil to the Treasure Island Casino, which became the city’s first permanent show.

With a net worth somewhere around $4 billion, Steve Wynn certainly tops our list as one of the richest casino owners in Vegas. What does he do with all that money? The fabulous life of Steve Wynn includes collecting fine art including pieces from Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Julian Hatton, Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Johannes Vermeer. Wynn has also made the headlines of gossip columns after having a tiff with the likes of George Clooney as well as Girls Gone Wild creator, Joe Francis (in which Wynn won $40 million in a defamation law suit).

James Packer – Chairperson of Crown Limited

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James Packer has a net worth of $6.6 billion and owns casinos in Australia, Macau, the United States, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and the UK.

Australian businessman, James Packer, certainly deserves his title as one of the world’s richest casino owners. As the son of the late media mogul Kerry Packer, James Packer inherited a fortune, but has focused most of his own career on building a worldwide gambling empire. He owns one of Australia’s largest entertainment and resort groups, Crown Limited, worth over $11 billion which includes the Crown Casinos in Melbourne and Perth, Australia.

In addition to his casinos down under, Packer owns the Crown Casino Sri Lanka, Aspinalls Casino in the UK, Betfair Online Casino , and the Cannery Casinos in Nevada and Pennsylvania, United States. He also holds 33.7 equity interest in the Macau based gaming group Melco-Crown which includes the City of Dreams Casino Resort in Macau, the City of Dreams Casino in Manila, and the Altira Macau Hotel and Spa.

Although he never attended university, Packer did spend time working at a cattle station as a jackeroo. Apparently herding sheep and cattle must have taught him something about how to become wealthy. Today, the casino tycoon has a net worth of $6.6 billion and ranks as the third richest man in Australia. He also made tabloids for a highly publicized affair with Victoria’s Secret supermodel, Miranda Kerr.

Kunio Busujima – Founder and Chairman of Sankyo

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Kunio Busujima has made $6 billion as the Founder and Chairman of one of Japan's largest Pachinko machine companies.

Considering that casinos remain illegal in Japan, Kunio Busujima seems an unlikely candidate for our list of the wealthiest casino CEOs. While Japan has yet to legalize casinos, Pachinko Parlors are found all throughout the country and operate in a similar way to casinos. Although he doesn’t own a casino himself, Busujima made his billion dollar fortune as the Founder and Chairman of one of Japan’s largest Pachinko gaming-machine manufacturers.

Never heard of Pachinko? This gaming machine could be called Japan’s answer to the western slot machine and are found all over the country. The Japanese game resembles a vertical pinball machine in which a player shoots small balls that cascade down the machine through a forest of pins. Players win prizes when the balls land in certain locations. This simple machine has brought in quite a lot of dough for Mr. Busujima. This unlikely casino owner’s net worth is estimated at $6 billion.

Read more about Pachinko and other casino games from the Far East with VegasMaster’s Ultimate Casino Guide on Asian Games.

About The Author

I made my entrance to online gambling in 2004 in an attempt to understand the psyche of the casino goer. I've spent prolonged periods delving into the industry and its inner functions and continue to do so at VegasMaster every day. My research and experience has given me insights into gambling that I hope you'll benefit from.

1 Comment

  1. archer8

    I’m both impressed and jealous…okay, maybe a little more on the jealous side. That’s a lot of money!

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