Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 3, 2008 27 Adar II 5768

The Mogul Who Bet On Vegas

By George Will


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | LAS VEGAS — Warren Buffett, of course, and then Bill Gates, but can you name the third-richest American? He is Sheldon Adelson, 74, whose net worth is, according to Forbes, $26 billion. He made his first fortune by founding and then selling a computer exposition here. Today he is thriving in part thanks to Asians who gamble here and in Macao, a tiny appendage of China. His Las Vegas Sands Corporation is the largest investor in China, ever.


Compact and combative as a bantam rooster, Adelson, son of a Boston cabdriver, used $128 million to buy the old Sands, the haunt of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. Adelson tore it down and built the $1.5 billion, 4,000-room Venetian. Two months ago it became the world's largest hotel when it opened the $1.9 billion, 3,000-suite Palazzo hotel, which is physically connected to the Venetian. In Macao, Adelson has two resorts, including a Venetian with a casino three times larger than the largest in Las Vegas.


He is spending upward of $9 billion more to build 13 additional casino hotels in Macao, and about $4 billion on one in Singapore. Next? Perhaps India, Japan, Korea, Thailand. Certainly Bethlehem (Pennsylvania, that is — really).


Macao's gambling revenue, which surpassed the Strip's in 2006, soared 46.6 percent last year to $10.4 billion. Macao's February revenue was up 67 percent over February 2007. Las Vegas is largely immune to U.S. economic cycles: In January, the Strip's casino gambling revenue fell only 1.3 percent, and a few "whales" could make up that margin over a weekend.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


Whales, in the language of Las Vegas, are, Adelson says, those who can win or lose $3 million in one stay. There are only a few thousand whales in the world, but they are multiplying fast in China — thank you, People's Republic. Adelson says that when 60,000 people a day are gambling at Macao's Venetian, 40 percent of the casino's revenue comes from 59,700 of them, and 60 percent from 300 others, probably including three to eight whales. In the Venetian here, 20 percent of the gamblers provide 80 percent of the revenue. Business cycles do not dent Adelson's confidence that the rich will always be with us: "The upper end is never vulnerable."


Adelson brandishes for a visitor a June 20, 1955, issue of Life magazine, the cover of which asks if Las Vegas is "overextended." The city then had fewer than 3,000 rooms. Today it has 138,000, and 45,000 more are under construction or planned. Although Adelson thinks gambling will remain this city's motor and scoffs at the notion of Las Vegas becoming primarily a "family destination," he does think it will become to Southern California what south Florida has been to the Northeast. What Northern winters did for Florida, California's government (high taxes, low performance) will do for Las Vegas.


Far from threatening Las Vegas, state governments, America's foremost promoters of gambling, have, Adelson says, "enlarged the market." State lotteries (and casinos — 28 states have them) whet people's appetites for a trip to gambling's mecca.


A long-running show at the Hilton here is "Menopause: The Musical." While the number of Americans over 65 has increased 20 percent since 1990, in Nevada the number has increased more than 100 percent. Poet Philip Larkin once said he would like to go to China if he could be home for dinner. Adelson and other makers of modern Las Vegas have obliged people like Larkin, sort of.


The Venetian has gondolas plying indoor canals that, unlike Venice's, do not smell: "Score one for the Americans — when they rebuild Europe," Paul Cantor of the University of Virginia writes, "they correct it, they improve it, they get it right." Las Vegas's hotel casinos also include Paris, and New York New York. Las Vegas, says Cantor, "fulfills a deep-seated American dream — to be able to pack the whole family into the station wagon and drive to Europe."


Frommer's guidebook suggests that there should be a Hoover Dam Hotel and Casino — why drive 30 miles when you can see a replica on the Strip? This, says Cantor, is democracy — giving the masses access to the world, albeit radically reduced.


Thanks to Adelson, Macao has its Venetian — a replica of a replica of a city. So China has passed into postmodernism's erasure of distinctions between high and low culture, and between originals and copies, without yet achieving modernity. Buffett and Gates may still be richer, for now, but Adelson's achievements astonish and multiply.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2006 WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles