Adelson tops list of wealthy Southern Nevadans

Sheldon Adelson remains the richest man in Las Vegas and ranks 20th among billionaires worldwide.

That’s according to Forbes’ latest annual list of billionaires, which featured other Southern Nevadans in the casino business, sports and the restaurant industry.

Forbes calculated Adelson’s net worth at $30.4 billion, a $1.4 billion decline from the value that placed him No. 14 on Forbes’ list of 400 richest Americans in 2016.

The 83-year-old CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., the largest casino company in America, has the highest net worth among rivals in the casino business.

The next-highest, Lui Che Woo of Macau casino-operator Galaxy Entertainment, is at at No. 109 with $12.1 billion.

Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas developer behind The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas, ranked No. 814 with $2.5 billion.

The 75-year-old opened Wynn Palace in Macau in August and broke ground that month on the $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor. Despite those accomplishments, his net worth is the lowest showing on the list since 2013. He peaked on the 2014 list with $3.8 billion.

Wynn Resorts co-founder Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of Steve Wynn, ranked No. 1,161 with $1.8 billion. Elaine Wynn, 74, saw a peak net worth in 2014 with $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.

Adelson and Wynn casino rival Phillip Ruffin tied Steve Wynn in rank and net worth. Ruffin, 82, co-owns Trump International in Las Vegas and doubled the value of Treasure Island after he bought it in 2009.

PROFITING FROM SALE

Brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III saw a boost in net worth from the sale of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Lorenzo, 48, and Frank, 55, bought the mixed martial arts promoter in 2001 for $2 million and sold it for $4 billion in 2016.

They tied at No. 1,030 on the list with $2 billion in net worth. On last year’s list, Forbes reported their net worth at $1.4 billion. The brothers are also known for Red Rock Resorts.

The brothers were bested by their cousin Tilman Fertitta, who ranked No. 693 with $2.9 billion. The Texas-based billionaire owns Golden Nugget Casinos as well as restaurants Landry’s Seafood and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and has a show on CNBC.

Las Vegans and Panda Express owners Andrew and Peggy Cherng ranked No. 630 with $3.1 billion in net worth, a peak value since Forbes reported their net worth as $2 billion in 2013.

Henderson resident Nancy Walton Laurie, whose father founded Wal-Mart with her uncle Sam Walton, ranked No. 402 with $4.3 billion.

The 65-year-old’s cousin, Wal-Mart board member Rob Walton, ranked No. 15 with $34.1 billion. The company has a couple of projects under construction in the valley, including a new store in the southwest valley and a return center west of Nellis Air Force Base.

The richest man on the list? Microsoft founder Bill Gates, 61, with $86 billion, a high from when Forbes reported he had $79.2 billion in 2015.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Wade Tyler Millward at wmillward@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4602. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

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