The billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is expected to donate at least $100 million in 2020 to various Republicans and right-wing groups to aid Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
News of this hefty donation to congressional candidates was recently reported to The Guardian by three Republican fundraisers who are said to know of Adelson’s plans.
Large checks are expected to be paid to a number of political groups that have to disclose their donors, also known as Super PACS, as well as to some not-for-profit organizations that can keep their donors a secret, otherwise known as ‘dark money’.
Who Exactly Is Sheldon Adelson?
If you are not familiar with the name Sheldon Adelson, you may know of some of his lucrative venues. His world-famous properties include the Palazzo hotels and the Venetian in Las Vegas.
The man with a plan
The Venetian, which cost an estimated $1.5 billion to create, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Adelson is not a man that does things by halves. It’s reported that he enlisted the help of a historian from Venice to work with the hotel’s architects and interior designers.
His first casino-related venture was in 1989, when he bought the Sands Casino and Hotel for a reported $128 million. The 86-year-old billionaire is now the chairman and majority shareholder of the world’s largest casino operator, Las Vegas Sands.
According to Forbes, the casino giant is worth an estimated $34.2 billion, making him the 17th most wealthy person on the Forbes 400 list. He is said to live in a Las Vegas mega mansion with his wife Mirian Adelson and own a 300-foot superyacht. In April 2019 he made an estimated $2.2 billion in just one week from his casino in Macau, Asia’s first American-style casino.
He also owns the world famous Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and The Sands Bethlehem. Adelson is known for being a very vocal pro-Israel conservative and has shown his approval of Trump’s pro-Israel political moves. He is also a major funder of the Republican Jewish Coalition which is a lobbying group that aims to win over Jewish voters in key swing states.
Adelson’s History of Political Funding
Sheldon Adelson is no stranger to sending seven-figure checks to Republican political groups, campaigns, and high-profile politicians. With a multi-billion dollar net worth, millions of dollars sent in donations is no skin off his back, but proceeds to put him in a very powerful position.
Adelson is said to be one of Donald Trump’s biggest donors, giving him the nickname of Trump’s ‘patron-in-chief’. He has a close bond with Trump and the pair have been known to have meetings in both Las Vegas as well as in Washington DC.
Donald Trump is not the only Republican candidate that Adelson and his wife donate large sums of money to. In 2016, it was reported that the couple paid a total of $82 million to Super PACS and committees that backed Trump and other Republican candidates. Republican donors say that tens of millions more were sent to dark money groups.
In 2018, Adelson and his wife were named as the top individual donors to Republican causes, after donating $55 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund and a grand total of almost $125 million overall to Republican candidates and campaigns, according to the Centre for Responsive Politics.
Way back in 2012, during Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, Adelson also gave at least $17 million in political contributions.
What Does This Donation Mean?
A possible motive behind Adelson’s huge donation could be that it puts him in the best position to remain powerful in the US casino market; Adelson is a nonprotagonist of the online gambling industry. He sees it as a major thorn in his side, as they are able to offer much better bonuses than his land-based counterparts.
Now that it’s 2020, so much of the world is online. Gambling enthusiasts are realizing that they don’t have to splash the cash and go on extravagant holidays to Las Vegas casinos just to try their hand at winning some cash. Instead, they can save their holiday money and gamble online for free.
By making such huge political investments Adelson is seen to be on the right side of powerful politicians. With friends and connections in the right places, he could begin to infiltrate the online world of gambling and casinos. His intention could be to become as powerful in the online casino industry as he is in the world of land-based casinos.
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