Without a doubt, the casino business is unlike any other. Humans have been gambling since the beginning of time, which has accelerated our evolution as human beings, so it is only natural that there is a huge demand for casino gambling these days. There are hundreds of thousands of regular casinos around the world.
However, some casinos have managed to become famous as some of the largest in the world. The owners of these huge enterprises are nimble businessmen, and these are some of the richest people in the world. And these are not just ordinary people.
As we describe in our review below, it takes a special type of person to become one of the richest casino owners in the world. So, here’s our list of the richest casino owners and their respective casino stories.
1. Sheldon Anderson
Sheldon Anderson is the owner of the famous Sands Hotel & Casino. His fortune is estimated at $39.9 billion, making him one of the richest people in the world. And it’s frankly pretty amazing when you realize that he came into the world as the child of poor immigrants who moved to the United States.
Even though he slept in unoccupied tenements, he wasted no time finding his one true passion in his life – entrepreneurship. He was so good at it and so talented that he managed to create his very own newspaper vending business when he was just 12 years old, at an age when the majority of children are completely clueless about almost everything.
His entrepreneurial career was interrupted when he left for the army, but he quickly returned to it once he left the army. And his interest in gambling and casinos came in a lot later – when he was 55 years old. By now, he had amassed great capital and managed to purchase Sands Hotel & Casino in 1989.
After this move, Sheldon never looked back. He continued to expand his gambling empire and started to open casinos in Singapore and Macau, cementing his position as one of the wealthiest casino owners in the world.
The fact that he came from humble beginnings helped him retain a sense of humbleness himself. So, he’s always on the move making donations for projects that will help inspire kids to succeed in life – even though we believe it would be an incredibly rare occurrence for a person to rack up as much wealth as Sheldon Anderson at any point in their lives.
2. Lui Che Woo
Coming in second on our list is Lui Che Woo, a wealthy casino owner from Hong Kong. Lui Che Woo is so incredibly wealthy that he’s considered the second wealthiest man in Hong Kong, which is quite a feat. Lui Che Woo wasn’t always into the gambling business. He started by being a supplier of construction materials.
However, at some point in his life, he became keen on gambling and invested in developing and owning a casino. Well, the casino games make anyone to thabet for making money they wish. Lui Che Woo’s net worth is firmly set at around 14.5 billion. An interesting fact about his life is that he almost formed a partnership with Sheldon Anderson, who is the very first name on our list.
However, they had a fallout, and the deal didn’t materialize, so Lui Che Woo ended taking full ownership of his gambling business. And he did well with it, might we add. Lui Che Woo is also a great philanthrope, never hesitating to pour money into charity. In 2015, he gave about $1.5 billion to charity, far more than most people can see in a lifetime. That in itself is inspiring, as it is an extremely rare case of one person not only able but willing to put money into charity.
3. Phil Ruffin
Here we have yet another unconventional entrepreneur on our list of the top richest casino owners. Phil Ruffin started his career in entrepreneurship in the most inconvenient way possible – by dropping out of college in order to sell hamburgers with a few of his friends. Fast forward until today, and his estimated net worth is about $3.5 billion.
True, this may seem like peanuts compared to the first two names on our list. But once you stop the comparisons, you’ll realize that reaching wealth in value of $3.5 billion by starting out selling hamburgers is quite a lot. Not many people will ever have the luxury of being able to say that they’ve amassed a fortune this big if they came from “lowly origins,” so to speak.
Phil Ruffin is also known for being a friend and partner of Donald Trump himself, and he owns half of the Trump International Las Vegas Hotel. As soon as he made some money from his burger-selling venture, he immediately started investing in stores and stalls. Eventually, he crowned his life’s achievement by purchasing New Frontier Hotel & Casino for a huge sum, only to triple its value in a few years and sell at a huge profit.
In addition, he now owns Treasure Island, and he managed to triple this venture’s value yet again. Only time will tell what Phil Ruffin’s future business ventures would amount to. But, as things stand currently, he’s guaranteed to remain firmly as a full-time member of our list of the richest casino owners in the world, despite his modest and humble beginnings in the world of entrepreneurship.
4. Elaine Wynn
And now we have the first woman on our list of the top richest casino owners. Elain Wynn is known as the Queen of Las Vegas – and this is with good reason. She’s the biggest shareholder in the Wynn Resorts ever since her husband sold his share of the company. And this is not to say that Elaine just had the luck to marry the right person. Elaine was a partner of Steve when they were married, and they opened several highly successful casinos together.
She started as being the chief executive of her husband’s business. Still, eventually, her husband got out of the business. They divorced, and she took full responsibility for running her husband’s huge gambling empire, a bigger slice than most people can handle.
Of course, as with any other person with a net worth of around $1.8 billion, Elaine has experienced her fair share of controversy.
She’s known to have fired several executives in her company who were still loyal to her husband, just for this reason alone. However, Elain’s extreme level of success cannot be doubted, and she remains one of the richest casino owners in the entire world.
She continues to operate several successful casinos at the pinnacle of the entire gambling industry, way after her husband called it quits and left the business himself. She remains known as the Queen of Las Vegas to this very day, and there’s no telling what business moves she will make in the future.
5. Lorenzo Fertitta
Many of you reading this article have probably already heard of Lorenzo Fertitta – but in a different context. Lorenzo, along with his brother Frank, is the inheritor of Red Rock Resorts Casino. And that is not to say that he was just lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family, although it is true that the wealth he inherited gave him much-needed capital to invest in some of the other business ventures in his life.
Lorenzo made his bones, so to speak, by acquiring the Ultimate Fighting Championship, abbreviated as the UFC, which you may know to be the premier organization in the world when it comes to the popular sport of MMA. Lorenzo and Frank, alongside a close friend of theirs, Dana White, purchased the UFC back in 1992 when MMA was in its infancy. They sold the entire business for $4.2 billion back in 2017, making their business venture a complete and resounding success.
The fact that he came out of his “bread and butter” casino business and ventured into something new and undeveloped and underappreciated shows just how great a business acumen Lorenzo has. His is one of the greatest success stories of our time, and he’s an inspiration to many people that wish to succeed in life and become wealthy themselves.
After his stint at the helm of the behemoth of a UFC business, Lorenzo returned to managing his inheritance – the Red Rock Resorts Casino. And, it goes without saying by now, but Lorenzo is big into philanthropy. He’s especially known for issuing scholarships to US war veterans, which goes a long way to show that rich people aren’t necessarily complete misers as many people make them out to be.
6. James Packer
With a net worth of around $3.2 billion, James Packer more than deserves to be on our list of the top richest casino owners in the world. He’s not of the “rags to riches” persuasion, though, as he was born in a wealthy family. One of his biggest investments is the one that he made into Crown Resorts casino, which remains a casino with a stellar reputation and one that’s visited by thousands of people on the regular.
However, his success story was cut short when he stepped away from running the family business because of concerns about his mental health. He reportedly had a mental health problem known as bipolar disorder and decided to stop running the business after a particularly stressful year at work.
Nevertheless, he retained much of his fortune by settling with his sister for his father’s inheritance. Even though he is not the leader of his business, he still has a huge net worth, making him one of the world’s richest (former) casino owners.
7. Pansy Ho
Pansy Ho started her venture into business as the inheritor of her father’s vast gambling empire in Macau. And her father is none other than the business mogul Stanley Ho, how built up the business from the ground up. But, as is the case with all the other billionaires on our list, Pansy Ho is not just some random inheritor who did nothing to enhance her net worth.
Instead, she made a lot of moves on her own, showing that she inherited a great deal of her father’s business acumen, as well. What Pansy Ho did at one point in her career was to invest in MGM Grand China. After a while, she got $1.5 billion for it when the company went public. And at one point, she wanted to invest in the thriving gambling business in New Jersey in the United States of America.
However, her father seems to have made much of his fortune by associating himself and his business with members of organized crime. This, and the fact that she had withdrawn a huge sum of money from MGM Grand China, led to her not receiving the much-coveted license to open a gambling business in New Jersey.
But we imagine that Pansy Ho didn’t shed a lot of tears due to this opportunity that she missed out on because she continued to make moves and opened several successful casinos all over Asia. Moreover, it appears that she has no intention of stopping or even slowing down. Her estimated net worth is about $1.5 billion.
8. Steve Wynn
Do you remember reading about Elaine Wynn further up in our review? Well, if you do, you’ll realize that Steve Wynn was her husband before they divorced over marital disputes. Steve Wynn remains one of the biggest names in the world of Las Vegas gambling, which is quite the statement once you consider that the city’s entire history is inherently intertwined with gambling – it was founded in the deserts of Nevada as the gambling center of America.
Wynn, unlike his wife, has had his own share of controversies involving allegations of sexual misconduct and a bitter divorce from his wife. Nevertheless, he has an inspiring story of how he started small and eventually made a huge fortune. In fact, he started his first business when he was just 15 years old, opening an ice cream stand.
Eventually, he inherited his late father’s business which was on the fast track to nowhere. However, Steve lost no time, and he quickly reinvented the business by turning it into a casino. And he didn’t stop at his first highly successful casino either – he continued to invest and create new successful casinos that begun springing up all around the country. He’s known for his incredibly successful investments in Wynn Las Vegas, Bellagio, Treasure Island, and even The Mirage.
Recently, however, he pulled away from the management of his casino enterprises, so, with a current net worth of $3.1 billion, we can’t say for sure that he’ll continue to be one of the richest people on our list – though we can never say that a business magnate such as Steve Wynn will ever allow himself to stagnate in life. And with the huge successes that he’s experienced in his life, he continues to be an inspiration for many entrepreneurs worldwide, and some of the very people on our list have drawn inspiration from none other than Steve Wynn.
9. Donald Trump
Here’s another person on our list that you’re likely to have heard of not in relation to gambling. It’s pointless to say it by now, but Donald Trump, among other things, served as the 45th President of the United States of America, which according to many, is the most powerful country in the world.
Let’s not debate about how and why Donald became the POTUS – we can all agree that this is a feat that not many people can brag that they’ve done. In fact, by now, only 46 people have managed to become presidents of the USA in the country’s history, and Donald Trump is one of them.
That aside, we’re here to talk about Donald Trump’s gambling businesses. If you’ve been following Donald Trump’s life somewhat, then the chances are that you already know that Trump has already had a lot of business ventures behind him. And one of them is gambling. It’s estimated that he managed to rack up around $2 billion from his gambling enterprises alone.
However, as always, Trump was not without his fair share of controversies even in his gambling ventures, as many of his business ventures had to file for bankruptcy. Regardless, Donald Trump is one of the richest casino owners that we’ve decided to feature on our list for you.
10. Stanly Ho
Stanly Ho is a testament to the rule that wealth stays in the family. He’s the father of the aforementioned richest casino owner Pansy Ho. Stanly Ho, even though he passed away in 2022, still more than deserves to be on our list of the richest casino owners in the world.
In fact, he was the moving force behind turning gambling into one of the greatest sources of income in the now-rich country of Macau. By doing so, he managed to prevent the Macau natives from going deep into poverty. Again, he’s known to have associated with shady individuals and organized crime members, but this doesn’t diminish his incredible success.
At the time of his death, he had an estimated net worth of about $7 billion. And now, his daughter, Pansy Ho, continues to develop her father’s gambling enterprises and does a pretty good job while she’s at it, being one of the richest casino owners in the world herself.
So, as you can see, the richest casino owners in the world are also some of the wealthiest people in general. Gambling is a highly productive business for the owners, as a rule shows that the “house always wins.” So, it’s only natural that the house owners would get incredibly rich in the process.
And if you’re up for it, then why not visit RedDogCasino.com and play some of the available casino games there? If you do so, then you may get a taste of what being one of the richest casino owners is all about, and this may just as well help you reach the pinnacle of wealth in your life.
But it’s not just about owning a casino, either. There have been many, many cases in history when even successful casinos have been run into the ground by incompetent owners. It takes a special kind of person with special advisors in order to succeed in the casino business. It’s a cutthroat business unlike anything else. We hope that the people on our list will serve as an inspiration for you in your quest to make as much money as possible.
What’s also inspiring is that many of the richest casino owners in the world use their hard-earned money to invest in charity. We already gave one such powerful example in the form of Lui Che Woo, who donated no less than $1.5 billion to charity in 2015 alone. So, there’s another way in which the richest people continue to help build up society.
And also, Stanly Ho managed to raise Macau’s economy almost singlehandedly by investing in gambling at a critical point in his life. He managed to save thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people in Macau from poverty. It’s fascinating to consider that casinos originally started as rest and recreation businesses for people to come and relax.
However, in time, the savvy businessmen and businesswomen managed to turn them into behemoths. Nowadays, casinos have been turned into complete moneymaking machines for the richest casino owners in the world.