Forbes has written Sheldon Adelson up as “the pit boss of casino giant Las Vegas Sands, has dominated headlines in both the business and political press this year. Company lawyers have kept busy with a federal bribery investigation about dealings in Macau; Las Vegas Sands denies all allegations.” Adelson is a proud Republican who has given $10 million to Mitt Romney’s SuperPac. Adelson has said potential donations could be “limitless.” Adelson is certainly wealthy enough to be able to afford to help the Romney campaign. Lucrative casinos in Macao and Singapore have enabled the Las Vegas Sands to pay a nice quarterly dividend, and Adelson pulled in some $275 million in dividends over the past year.
Jim Meyers has reported in an article on September 24, 2012 for Newsmax: “Adelson: Obama Wanted Me ‘Toxic,’ Leaked Smears.” Adelson has said the Obama administration has launched a smear campaign against him after he began contributing heavily to Republican candidates. He has charged that the administration has leaked information about federal inquiries into old events which involve him and his Las Vegas Sands Corp. In specific Adelson has commented that the Obama administration is “making me toxic so that they can make the argument to the Republicans, ‘This guy is toxic. Don’t do business with him. Don’t take his money.’ When I see what’s happening to me and this company, about accusations that are unfounded, that kind of behavior has to stop.”
The Las Vegas Sands Corp. is being investigated by federal investigators looking into possible money-laundering in Vegas, along with possible violations of bribery laws by the company’s ventures in China, including four casinos in the gambling mecca of Macau. Articles dealing with the investigations appeared last month on the front pages of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. However, the Journal stated that there were no indications the probe included actions by Adelson himself.
Adelson has said, “I suppose you could say that I live on Vince Lombardi’s belief: ‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.’ So, I do whatever it takes, as long as it’s moral, ethical, principled, legal.” He has told Politico that he will continue to contribute “whatever it takes” to defeat President Barack Obama. Adelson is the first person to spend $70 million to a presidential election, and he is on a path to spend as much as $100 million by Election Day. The ethical issues raised by Adelson’s accusation against the Obama administration certainly presents Barack Obama with a problem which he may have to confront publicly.