Forbes recently published its 2017 list of the richest people in the world and there is no surprise that a number of these wealthy billionaires have ties to the casino industry and have concentrated on the Asian gambling market in the last few years. The Forbes article confirmed that the world’s billionaires have had a phenomenal year as the number of billionaires rose from 1810 last year to 2,043 this year – a rise of nearly 13 percent.
This was also the first time in Forbes history that the number of individuals whose wealth was over 10 figures crossed the 2,000 mark. The global casino industry has grown at a rapid pace during the last few years and as a result the fortunes of these gaming tycoons have also soared significantly. Leading the list of gaming billionaires is the 83 year old Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson.
Adelson had a net worth of $25.2 billion in 2016 and held the 22nd spot on the list of the world’s richest individuals. His fortune has grown by an additional $5.2 billion this year which was nearly a 20.6 percent growth thereby pushing him to the 20th spot on the 2017 Forbes List of The World’s Billionaires. Las Vegas Sands Corps has casinos in Nevada, Singapore and Macau and has no ties to the online casino industry.
Macau, the biggest gambling hub in the world has struggled during 2014 and 2015 due to an anti-corruption crackdown launched by Beijing which hurt the casino industry and resulted combined in losses of over $100 billion. However Macau’s gaming slump does not appear to have had any impact on Adelson’s revenue based on Forbes latest rankings. The Las Vegas Sands Corp launched its new Parisian Macao casino resort which is located in the Cotai district back in September 2016 and remains confident that Macau’s casino industry will continue its recovery process which started from August 2016.
Lui Che Woo, the chairman of the Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, which is one of the six major casino operators in Macau also features on the 2017 Forbes List of The World’s Billionaires. Woo who was in the 151st spot in 2016 with a net worth of $7.6 billion saw a dramatic increase in his fortunes which caused him to jump to 109th spot with a net worth of $12.1 billion. Johann Graf, the CEO of Novomatic AG, a gaming equipment manufacturer based out of Austria also featured on the list with a net worth of $7.2 billion which saw him take the 194th spot.
Hong Kong based casino entrepreneur Stanley Ho finds his son and daughter featuring on the list as well. Pansy Ho Chiu King who is a joint chairperson of MGM China Holdings made an additional $0.8 billion this year which saw her rankings go up to the 414th spot with a net worth of $4.2 billion. Lawrence Ho, who is the chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment also saw his fortunes increase and go up to $1.6 billion. Ho has now gone up 186 spots to finish in the 1290th spot and is officially the youngest gaming tycoon to feature on the list as Ho is just 40 years old. His sister Pansy Ho is ranked in 5th place on the list of casino billionaires.
Ranked in 6th place on the list of casino billionaires is Angela Leong On Kei, who is a director of SJM Holdings Ltd, one of the major casino operators in Macau. Her wealth in 2016 was $1.4 billion but she has had a phenomenal 12 months which saw her net worth increase to $4.1 billion. She was ranked in the 1275th place in 2016 and has now moved up to take the 427th place.
There are a number of prominent casino tycoons who also feature on the Forbes 2017 list. Some of them include Wynn Resorts chairman Steve Wynn who dropped 92 spots in this year’s ranking to take the 814th spot with a net worth of $2.5 billion. His ex-wife Elaine Wynn is in the 1161st spot with a net worth of $1.8 billion. James Packer, the former chairman of Crown Resorts has a net worth of $3 billion and takes the 660th spot. Japanese casino tycoon Kazuo Okada went up 710 spots in the ranking to finish in the 867th spot with a net worth of $2.4 billion.

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