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Sheldon Adelson, the founder, Chairman, and CEO of Las Vegas-based gaming company Las Vegas Sands Corp., is planning to expand its business in an unlikely destination: North Korea.
His company presently functions in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore.
Late last month, Mr. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, attended and were among the speakers at an event organised by Taglit-Birthright Israel, a not-for-profit educational organisation that offers free trips to Israel to young adults of Jewish origin to strengthen their identity. The Adelsons are one of the main sponsors of the organisation. Earlier in this year, the businessman and his wife pledged $70 million to Birthright, the largest ever donation the cause has received since it was founded in 1999.
The billionaire family was among the guests at Birthright’s event in Jerusalem. Mr. Adelson began his speech before Jewish young adults attending the event saying that he was not raised in Israel and did not serve in the country’s army. He went on to say that he was actually a Korea veteran and that he hoped US President Donald Trump would get “North and South Korea finish the war” so that he could go there again. The businessman also pointed out that this time he would not fight but would rather “open up [his] business.”
Mr. Adelson was one of the main sponsors of President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. With the United States’ top official formerly being a casino owner himself, he is a long-time friend of the Las Vegas casino mogul.
Reports emerged ahead of the historic meeting between President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore that Korea had suggested the US help it build a casino resort as part of a previously proposed plan for the establishment of an international tourist destination in Wonsan-Kalma.
The plan was first presented by North Korea’s leader late last year. It involves the development of an international tourist-friendly resort on the Wonsan-Kalma coast. Construction is expected to be completed by 15 April 2019, the birthday of Kim’s grandfather and former Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Il-Sung.
Mr. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands has been looking to expand its operations beyond its current markets for quite some time now. The company has already confirmed that it would be among the bidders for one of three gaming licenses in Japan and has been lobbying for the legalisation of Las Vegas-style gambling in Brazil.
Source: European Gaming Industry News