Gaming Industry Places 28 Billionaires on Forbes World Richest People List

Posted on: April 7, 2021, 02:13h. 

Last updated on: April 7, 2021, 03:03h.

Of the 2,775 billionaires on Earth, Forbes says the global gaming industry is responsible for 28. Dr. Miriam Adelson tops the list as the planet’s richest casino tycoon. 

gaming industry casino billionaires Forbes
Dr. Miriam Adelson pays her respects to her late husband Sheldon in Israel in January. Following the Las Vegas Sands’ founder’s death, Dr. Miriam is the world’s richest gaming industry stakeholder. (Image: Israel Hayom)

Dr. Miriam Adelson moved to the first place position following the January 2021 death of her husband, Sheldon Adelson, at the age of 87. Sheldon Adelson was the founder of the Las Vegas Sands. With an estimated net worth of $38.2 billion, Dr. Adelson ranks No. 36 on “The Richest People in the World” list compiled by Forbes. 

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adelson family fortune grew 42.5 percent over the past 12 months. The late Adelson’s fortune was estimated at $26.8 billion at this time last year. Dr. Adelson controls more than half of Sands’ $48 billion market cap. The company has casinos in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Macau. 

However, in early March, Sands announced its plans to sell its Las Vegas properties — The Venetian and Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center — for $6.25 billion to Apollo Global Management and VICI Properties. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Fortunes Grow During Pandemic 

Last year was a year like no other, one of great difficulty for millions of Americans and people around the world. But for the planet’s richest people, most saw their treasure chests expand during the pandemic. 

The number of billionaires on the 2021 Forbes list hit an unprecedented 2,755. That is 660 more billionaires than a year ago. 

A record high 493 were new to the list, including 210 from China and Hong Kong. Another 250 who’d fallen off in the past came roaring back. A staggering 86 percent are richer than a year ago,” Forbes explains. 

The wealth increase lent to the richest people in the gaming business. In fact, only one of the 28 casino billionaires — Japan’s Chang-Woo Han, whose empire is built on pachinko parlors — saw their net worth decrease. 

Forbes reveals that a new billionaire was minted every 17 hours on average last year. Altogether, the world’s wealthiest are $5 trillion richer today than a year ago.

Notable Casino Billionaires

The 2021 Forbes billionaires list includes the usual casino names. Along with the Adelson family, Bet365 founder and co-CEO Denise Coates, whose $648 million 2020 compensation recently garnered criticism, is worth $6.5 billion.  

Golden Nugget casino boss Tilman Fertitta’s gaming, sports, and hospitality empire is worth $4.6 billion, while his distant relatives — Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III — are each worth roughly $2.2 billion for their Station Casinos and Red Rock Resorts holdings. 

Macau’s late founding father Stanley Ho’s children, Pansy and Lawrence Ho, are respectively worth $4.3 billion and $2.4 billion. Steve Wynn clocks in at $3.2 billion, and his former wife, Elaine Wynn, at $2.3 billion. Crown Resorts founder James Packer is at $3.2 billion, and Japan’s Kazuo Okada is at $1.8 billion.

Returning to the list is 89-year-old William Boyd at $1.6 billion. Boyd took over the casino company that bears his name following his father Sam Boyd’s death in 1993. Though he retired in 2008, Boyd maintains approximately 17 percent ownership in the publicly traded company. 

It’s Boyd’s first time on the Forbes billionaires list since 2007.