Blackstone Billionaire Stephen Schwarzman Throws 2024 Support Behind Donald Trump

Posted on: May 27, 2024, 02:02h. 

Last updated on: May 28, 2024, 09:18h.

Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire founder, chairman, and chief executive of Blackstone Group, one of the world’s richest private equity giants with significant holdings in the global casino industry, says he will support former President Donald Trump during the 2024 United States presidential election.

Stephen Schwarzman Blackstone Donald Trump
Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwarzman is seen in 2017 alongside President Donald Trump while serving as the chair of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. Schwarzman says he will support Trump in his 2024 presidential election. (Image: AP)

Schwarzman, a self-described modest Republican, supported Trump in 2016 and 2020. But the New York business tycoon was frustrated with how Trump refused to concede defeat to President Joe Biden and called for a “new generation of [Republican] leaders” following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Schwarzman says Biden’s poor leadership, paired with Trump’s winning of the 2024 Republican primary, prompted his change of heart.   

I share the concern of most Americans that our economic, immigration, and foreign policies are taking the country in the wrong direction,” Schwarzman said in a statement to Axios. “For these reasons, I am planning to vote for change and support Donald Trump for president.”

Forbes estimates Schwarzman’s net worth to be north of $38 billion, which ranks him the 38th richest person in the world.

Critical Backing

With two of the Republican Party’s most resolute campaign donors, the Koch network and Dr. Miriam Adelson, staying on the 2024 presidential general election sidelines to date, Schwarzman’s backing is a major win for Trump as he continues to trail Biden in fundraising. As of April, the Biden campaign reported having $84.5 million in cash to Trump’s $48 million.

The Koch network, the political giving arm of billionaire Charles Koch and his late brother, David, has long opposed Trump. Koch Industries’ real estate investment arm is the owner of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

Dr. Adelson is the largest individual shareholder of Las Vegas Sands, the company she inherited from her late husband, Sheldon. The Adelsons poured more than $200 million into Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, but since Sheldon died in January 2021, Adelson hasn’t been as enthusiastic in supporting Trump.

Schwarzman is no stranger to the casino industry, as Blackstone owns Crown Resorts, Australia’s largest casino firm, and additionally has ownership positions in the Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan, Aria, and Vdara on the Las Vegas Strip through leaseback deals with MGM Resorts International. Blackstone previously owned MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay.

Steve Wynn Backing Trump, Too

Another billionaire with deep ties to gaming backing Trump comes as little surprise.  

Steve Wynn, according to Fox Business, helped organize a fundraiser for Trump in early April with billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson. The event in Palm Beach asked attendees to donate $814,600 per person for a “chairman” seat and $250K for a “host committee” ticket. The event reportedly raised more than $50 million for the Trump 2024 campaign.

Special individual donations to Trump’s reelection will soon be made public when April financing reports are due with the Federal Election Commission.

Other casino industry billionaires who are likely to back Trump include Frank III and Lorenzo Fertitta of Station Casinos/Red Rock Resorts, Southpoint owner Michael Gaughan, Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta, and Treasure Island and Circus Circus owner Phil Ruffin.

Trump remains the 2024 betting favorite, with bookmakers offering odds implying a winning likelihood of about 58%.