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Saturday
Nov202010

Vegas Billionaire Pummeled by Recession Claws His Way Back

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Las Vegas is a place where many bet high but few come out on top ... and then there's Sheldon Adelson, who proves that old Vegas saying, "The house always wins." The self-made billionaire behind the Las Vegas Sands Corporation likes things big, including his checkbook.

Before the economy fell apart two years ago, Adelson's company was making an estimated $20 million per day from his hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Macau. By 2007, he was worth an estimated $40 billion and was No. 3 on the Forbes list of richest Americans.

But when the market crashed in 2008, his company's market value plummeted more than 90 percent, at one point losing as much as $1,000 per second. To prevent the company from going under, Adelson and his family invested $1 billion into the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. That $1 billion bailed out the cash-strapped company, but much of the senior management was fired.

Even in the depth of the financial crisis, Adelson never backed off from a planned multi-billion-dollar project in Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is now open and in its first full quarter of operations, it generated $242 million in profits. His Las Vegas properties, unlike many on the strip, are thriving as well. For the third quarter of this year, they booked record profits of $645 million.

Adelson isn't quite back to his 2007 heyday, but he's working on it: He dropped to No. 26 on the Forbes list in 2009 and now stands at No. 13.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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