Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson Personally Donates Two Million Masks to US Hospitals

Posted on: March 31, 2020, 09:36h. 

Last updated on: March 31, 2020, 10:52h.

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the founder and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands casino empire, has personally donated two million masks to United States hospitals.

Sheldon Adelson coronavirus masks
Sheldon Adelson got his hands on two million surgical masks in China, and is bringing them home to the US. (Image: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Press Office)

Adelson ranks No. 17 on Forbes’ list of wealthiest Americans, his fortune today estimated at $29.3 billion. While that’s down considerably from more than $40 billion earlier this year, the casino tycoon is still opening his checkbook to support the relief efforts for the COVID-19 pandemic.

And he’s doing it with little fanfare. Jewish Insider learned from a source close to the billionaire that Adelson personally purchased two million face masks from a Chinese manufacturer and is having them shipped to the US. The insider says 250,000 of the masks are being directed to the Trump administration’s task force handling efforts to assist healthcare workers.

The remaining 1,750,000 masks will be handed out to hospitals in need in New York and his home state of Nevada.

Sands owns The Venetian and Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip. It doesn’t own property in New York, but is actively campaigning for the state to lift a ban on downstate casinos. Adelson has long wished to build in the New York City area.

Casinos Assisting

Former MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, who is heading up the Nevada COVID-19 Response, Relief & Recovery Task Force, announced this week that his ex-employer and Wynn Resorts are two companies leading the coronavirus relief effort.

Murren explained that Wynn was able to obtain and donate 290,000 respiratory masks, 600,000 surgical masks, 500,000 pairs of surgical gloves, and 2,000 medical gowns. Murren wasn’t quite as specific with MGM’s donations, saying only that the company gave 100,000 surgical masks and “hundreds of other items to the medical community.”

Numerous Las Vegas casino operators, including MGM, Wynn, Sands, Station Casinos, and Boyd Gaming have donated to area food banks. Adelson’s Sands additionally gave $250,000 to three local charities.

We are in the hospitality and entertainment business and our team members work very hard to provide a great experience for the thousands of people who come through our doors daily,” said Sands President Rob Goldstein. “However, our most important commitment is the one we have made to the health and safety of our team members and guests.”

Most casinos across Southern Nevada offered their laid-off or furloughed employees at least two weeks of continued pay. However, that’s expiring this week for many, and Las Vegas is expected to remain on lockdown through at least April. Sands and Wynn have committed to paying their employees throughout the shutdown.

Political Giving Impact

Adelson and his wife Miriam gave $82.58 million during the 2016 presidential election cycle, and $123.25 million during the 2018 midterms. However, the coronavirus pandemic has hampered global stock markets, and brought political giving to a near standstill.

Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, who has relied heavily on in-person donations at campaign rallies, has been forced to try to woo supporters through online videos. Numbers haven’t yet been released to show if it’s working.

The Adelsons haven’t made a 2020 political campaign contribution, according to the Federal Election Commission. They did make several substantial donations to Republican Super PACs in 2019 totaling more than $1 million.