Sheldon Adelson Takes LVS Medical Leave to Resume Cancer Treatment

Posted on: January 7, 2021, 07:22h. 

Last updated on: January 7, 2021, 06:41h.

Las Vegas Sands Corp CEO and chairman Sheldon Adelson has taken a leave of absence to resume treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to an official statement from the company Thursday.

Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson with his wife Miriam at a Trump rally in Las Vegas in February 2020. (Image: Evan Vucci/AP)

Adelson is the world’s wealthiest casino owner. He’s listed by Forbes as the 28th-richest person in the world, with an estimated fortune of $33.5 billion. The 87-year-old’s battle with cancer became public knowledge in March 2019, when he was adjudged to be too ill to attend a deposition, part of a long-running legal battle against a former adviser for LVS in Macau.

At the time, his lawyer described him as being “gravely ill” and the billionaire was conspicuous by his absence from subsequent LVS earnings calls, a ritual he rarely missed. However, he was back by October that year, and has since been well enough to fulfill his executive duties.

LVS President and COO Rob Goldstein will now take over those duties for the duration of Adelson’s absence, the company said in its statement. It’s unclear how long the treatment will last.

Adelson Designs on the Crown?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that attacks the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body. Treatment depends on the type, grade, and extent of the disease, but will usually involve chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Most cases are considered very treatable.

Despite his frailty, Adelson apparently has bold plans for LVS. He is currently mulling a sale of the company’s Las Vegas casino properties – the Venetian and the Palazzo — presumably due to bearishness about the city’s recovery trajectory.

It was reported that Adelson saw in the New Year with fellow casino mogul James Packer, prompting speculation that Adelson wants to acquire Packer’s 36 percent interest in embattled Australian casino operator Crown Resorts.

The UK’s Daily Telegraph reported that Packer’s $200 million superyacht was docked next to Adelson’s $70 million Queen Miri in the French Caribbean on Jan. 31, while tender boats were seen going back and forth between the vessels. Presumably, this is how billionaires court one another.

GOP Megadonor

Adelson also appears to be interested in Texas, where state records indicate LVS recently ramped up its lobbying operations. This led to speculation the company is pushing for commercial gaming in the Lone Star State, with the long-term ambition of establishing one of its signature integrated resorts there.

Adelson and his wife Miriam have been the GOP’s largest donors in each of the past two federal election cycles, giving upwards of $205 million since 2016. Adelson is a friend of US President Donald Trump. In 2018, Trump awarded Miriam, a medical doctor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom award for her research into substance abuse.