Sands Corp CEO Takes Medical Leave of Absence

medical white sheet with stethoscope and blood pressure monitor
Photo by Marcelo Leal

A casino mogul has taken a medical leave of absence from his company to undergo cancer treatment.

Cards Chat reports Sands Corp’s Sheldon Adelson is battling cancer after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2020 but remained in his role as the chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands, the company he founded in 1988.

The multibillionaire is a top Republican Party donor who donated to the campaign or Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.

He’s also the top opponent of online poker legalisation in the United States.

The casino mogul has fought long and hard to ban all forms of internet gambling at the federal level for years.

His efforts have been moderately successfully although he hasn’t achieved his goal of completely banning online poker nationwide, his lengthy fight and lobbying efforts have made it difficult for legalisation to progress.

Adelson’s casino company generates $14 billion annually, with the founder estimated to be worth $35 billion.

The company hasn’t disclosed how long Adelson’s absence will last, but they did release brief details of how the company will continue to operate while he’s out.

Sands president and chief operating officer Robert G Goldstein will serve as acting chairman and chief executive officer until Adelson returns,.

Adelson’s son-in-law Patrick Dumont, the company chief financial officer and executive vice president since 2010, will also help lead the company through a rough stretch.

Sands’ Las Vegas casinos, Venetian and Palazzo, have struggled financially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, Adelson recently flirted with the idea of selling off his Las Vegas properties.

But that rumour hasn’t proven true yet as he is still the owner and no serious buyer has come forward publicly.

Adelson was also rumoured to be interested in purchasing the New York Mets.

It’s unclear just how close he came to buying the Major League Baseball franchise, however.

Steve Cohen, a hedge fund manager, purchased the team for $2.4 billion in November.

Las Vegas Sands stock has taken a slight dive in recent days since the news broke of Adelson’s absence.

The current stock price of $57.92 is down from its $60.12 mark of January 6.

In the past year, LVS stick is down $13 per share with COVID-19 revenue losses being a contributing factor.

Crown Shoots Down Sands Sale Speculation

Crown Casinos’ share price rose on the back of rumours that the casino operator’s majority shareholder James Packer was engaged in talks with Las Vegas Sands’ Sheldon Adelson.

Calvin Ayre reported in January that Crown’s shares rose nearly three per cent on Monday to close at A$9.90, a peak the operator hasn’t hit since mid-2020 and when regulatory problems truly began in earnest.

On January 2, it was reported that Packer’s $200 million yacht, in which he spent the bulk of the year hiding from COVID-19 on the high seas, spent the final days of 2020 parked alongside another superyacht owned by none other than Sheldon Adelson.

The paper noted that there’d been “tenders between both vessels going back and forth,” sparking speculation that Adelson was discussing the sale of Packer’s nearly 37 per cent stake in Crown.

However, a Packer flack dismissed talk that the two casino titans had any contact during their boats’ prolonged proximity.

The idea of such discussions isn’t so daft, given it was only last May that Sands was reportedly kicking Crown’s tyres, and that Sands recently confirmed it’s considering unloading its US properties in Las Vegas, where Packer unsuccessfully tried to establish a Crown presence.

William Brown

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