Miriam Adelson Tops Gaming Magnates on Forbes World’s Billionaire’s List

Posted on: April 6, 2022, 09:14h. 

Last updated on: April 6, 2022, 11:14h.

Dr. Miriam Adelson is the global casino industry’s wealthiest individual for the second year in a row. That’s according to the 2022 edition of Forbes World’s Billionaire’s List, an annual inventory of the planet’s filthy rich.

Miriam Adelson
Miriam Adelson, with her late husband, Sheldon, seated to the right. Despite losing 28 percent of her wealth in the past 12 months, she is still the seventh richest woman in the world. (Image: Getty)

This year, Forbes crowned Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk ($219 billion) as the world’s richest man, topping Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ($171 billion).

Adelson is the 50th-richest person in the world and the seventh-richest woman, with an estimated net worth of $27.5 billion, according to Forbes. The 76-year-old physician is the widow of Sheldon Adelson, who died in 2021. She owns 52.2 percent of Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS), the company her husband founded and grew into the world’s wealthiest casino operator.

But her wealth has slipped by almost 28% year-on-year, from $38.2 billion in 2021, likely because of the effect of the pandemic on LVS casinos in Macau.

Rich Get Poorer

Adelson wasn’t the only billionaire to become less mega-rich over the past 12 months. It was something of a trend across the board.

There were 107 fewer billionaires on the list this year than last year. And collectively, this year’s bunch is worth $400 billion less than in 2021. Forbes attributes the shift to “war, pandemic, and sluggish markets.”

There were 34 fewer billionaires in Russia as Western sanctions punishing Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began to bite. Meanwhile, a crackdown by Beijing on the technology sector is seriously cramping the style of China’s mega-rich. There were 87 fewer billionaires among them this year.

Many of those whose wealth, like Adelson’s, is dependent on the health of the Asian casino sector also experienced a downtick this year.

Galaxy Entertainment chairman Lui Che Woo, the second gaming tycoon on the list, saw his net worth cut by 40%, from $19.4 billion to $11.6 billion.

Galaxy owns several properties in Macau, including its flagship Galaxy Macau resort on the Cotai Strip. But visitation to the gambling hub has been severely depleted over the past two years by restrictions designed to control the pandemic as the region doggedly pursues a “zero-Covid” strategy.

Meanwhile, Melco boss Lawrence Ho has disappeared off the list altogether.

Modest Gains

There was no such misery for the world’s 396th-richest man and the Philippines’ second, Enrique Razon. The chairman of Bloomberry Resorts actually saw his net worth increase over the year to $6.7 billion from $5 billion in 2021. However, the lion’s share of his wealth comes from his shipping and logistics business, rather than gaming.

Another notable mention is Steve Wynn, at number 913 on the list. Wynn also saw his net worth rise over the past 12 months from $3.2 billion to $3.3 billion, despite quitting the gaming industry under a cloud in 2018.

Wynn’s new line is selling priceless fine art and flipping mansions on the Palm Beach property market.