Forbes 400 Recognizes Casino Billionaires, Dr. Miriam Adelson Tops Gaming List


The Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans is out, and the 2021 edition includes several names who have primarily made their fortunes through casino gambling.

Forbes 400 Adelson billionaire gaming industry casino
Forbes 400 Adelson billionaire gaming industry casino
Dr. Miriam Adelson, ranked No. 24 on the Forbes 400, has a net worth north of $30 billion. No person in the United States has made more money off casino gambling than she and her late husband. (Image: Getty)

Dr. Miriam Adelson, the widow of the late Sheldon Adelson, is the world’s richest person in the gaming industry. The largest shareholder of Las Vegas Sands is estimated to be worth $30.4 billion.

Mr. Adelson died in January at the age of 87. Upon his death, Dr. Miriam became the sole owner of nearly 399 million shares of LVS. That represents 52.2 percent of the entire organization.

Sands is undergoing a major business restructuring, one that could result in the corporation changing its name. Just two months after Mr. Adelson’s death, Sands announced in March that it had agreed to sell its Las Vegas Strip properties — The Venetian and Palazzo, plus the Sands Expo and Convention Center — to Apollo Global Management and Caesars Entertainment’s real estate investment trust VICI Properties for $6 billion.

Ms. Adelson’s estimated net worth of $30.4 billion is a slight improvement on the $29.8 billion that Forbes estimated of her husband’s empire last year. For 2021, Ms. Adelson is the 24th-richest American.

Forbes explains that its annual 400 list “is a snapshot in time of wealth, using stock prices from September 3, 2021.” The rankings do not include billionaires whose fortunes are predominantly invested in private companies. That’s why brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who control the privately held Station Casinos, aren’t listed.

Casino Tycoons

The 2021 edition of the Forbes 400, the financial media outlet explains, is its 40th edition. And for the 40th year in a row, casino billionaires have grabbed spots on the esteemed Rolodex.

After Ms. Adelson, Carl Icahn is the next household name who has been heavily invested in casinos throughout his storied investment career is  Worth an estimated $16.6 billion, Icahn ranks No. 43 in the US. That sum is up more than $2 billion from a year ago.

Icahn Enterprises has in the past controlled numerous casino firms, including American Entertainment Properties, Trump Entertainment Resorts, and Tropicana Entertainment. Icahn additionally owned the long-stalled former Fontainebleau on the Las Vegas Strip. He sold the towering blue structure in 2017 for $600 million. He paid $151 million in 2010 for the unfinished property.

Neil Bluhm is next at No. 151. The Rush Street Gaming owner is worth an estimated $6.4 billion. No. 158 is Tilman Fertitta, who owns the Golden Nugget casino brand. He’s worth $6.3 billion.

Other Notables

Since departing the gaming industry almost four years ago, Steve Wynn’s fortune has changed little. The Wynn Resorts founder’s net worth remains at $3.3 billion, which ranks him No. 358.

Jon Yarbrough comes in at No. 368 with a fortune of $3.1 billion. Yarbrough’s empire began by way of Video Gaming Technologies, a gaming manufacturer that specialized in working with tribal casinos and producing Class II gaming terminals.

Yarbrough is hoping to increase his fortune in Norfolk, Virginia. The billionaire is helping fund the Pamunkey Indian Tribe’s $500 million casino resort in the city. He will control an unspecified stake in the project.

Finally, for the first time in 25 years, former President Donald Trump is not on the Forbes 400. The 45th president’s net worth is $2.5 billion, which keeps him outside the list of the 400 richest Americans. Trump’s wealth can be partially credited to the casinos he built in Atlantic City and Northern Indiana.

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