Last week an announcement was made by the world's largest gambling company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., that Michael A. Leven, 76-year-old president and COO's contract will expire at the end of 2014 and that will also bring about his retirement. Perhaps those of us in the United States that are pro online poker were hoping that Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson would be right behind Leven and decide to retire. That is not the case from a statement given by Adelson:
"As the supposed Mark Twain quote goes, 'the rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,'" said Adelson, addressing a Wall Street Journal article which suggested he might give the CEO title to whoever replaces Leven next year.
"I am as bullish about this company as I've ever been, and I have no plans of slowing down or passing the CEO title or job to anyone," Adelson added. "We have taken an important leadership position in the gaming and hospitality industry, and I plan on spending year after year building on that success. Whether it's driving financial results, working with governments to open up new markets, securing new development opportunities in emerging markets, spearheading regulatory compliance or anything else, I am intently focused on building on the momentum we have established over the past several years."
Apparently Adelson will continue his push to completely ban Internet gambling in the United States. He created the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and has vowed to spend millions of dollars to "prevent the world's most vulnerable people from being exploited."
The Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, a group backed by rivals Caesars and MGM, are not going to lay down and get rolled over by billionaire casino magnate. Adelson is adamant on his stand and is looking to recruit anyone and everyone to stand with him, thus creating a war within the U.S. gaming industry itself.
Adelson's Las Vegas Sands owns not only the Venetian and Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas, but also has a massive stake in the largest gambling hub in the world, Macau, with four casinos there adding to his casino empire. Adelson's wealth has almost tripled in the past five years which gives him a gigantic boost in influencing the political environment.
Adelson isn't slowing down and neither is his Sands' leadership team as he says his intention is to achieve even greater success in the years ahead by pushing them forward.
"We have developed a strong track record for securing the most coveted new development opportunities in our business and returning capital to our shareholders at a pace never before seen in our industry. I'm not going to let that change, not even for a second," he said.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the search for Leven's replacement is expected to begin in a few weeks. A committee has already been formed to search for, and find, candidates.
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