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Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas, Politics | 5 comments

Moguls of Hypocricy: Casino Magnates Adelson, Wynn, and Trump Whine While Fortunes Skyrocket



Leave it to three casino industry tycoons to display the most brazen acts of hypocrisy in recent memory.

What would you call someone who repeatedly blasts our president for his “socialist-style economy,” while raking in billions in profits during the time frame the president has been in office?

What would you call someone who refers to our leader “the greatest wet blanket to business,” yet managed to double the size of his casino empire and increase his net personal worth by $200 million during the president’s first term?

What would you call someone who declared bankruptcy four years ago (at the end of the previous administration), and then preposterously claimed his net worth is several billion today?

If you’re having trouble coming up with the right words, let me help you.



It’s impossible to imagine three more hypocritical blowhards than casino moguls Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn, and Donald Trump.  Their political posturing would be side-splitting if it were not so downright shameful.

The three current and former casino owner-executives have repeatedly blasted President Obama since he took office in early 2009.  They are certainly entitled to their opinions — outlandish as they may be.  But the facts clearly reveal, like the rest of the top one-percent of wealthiest Americans, they have enriched themselves handsomely under the current administration.

But that doesn’t stop the posturing nor the hyperbole.  Never let the facts get in the way of creative sound bites.  President Obama is anti-business, they say.  President Obama is bad for the economy, they say.  President Obama is a Socialist, they say.  Yada.  Yada.  Yada.

One would think the three musketeers of malaise have suffered while President Obama’s been residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  One would be led to believe their businesses have lost money or that they suffered personal financial setbacks.  But a look at the facts reveals quite the opposite.  In fact, these three hypocrites have – by any measure – made astronomical profits since President Obama took office.

Let’s look at the record, shall we?


Evil Sheldon Adelson


SHELDON ADELSON — The Chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation is America’s most despicable billionaire, which is really saying something considering some of the entries on Fortune’s list of wealthiest people.  Adelson, an avowed Zionist, promotes a grotesque neoconservative foreign policy that’s already pushed the United States into two wars and now flirts with another, this time with Iran.  If Adelson and his kooks get their way, World War 3 could be on the horizon.

Adelson is a major political force for one reason only – his vast personal bankroll.  He flip-flopped political parties years ago during a labor dispute at one of his properties, revealing his real allegiance is to (drum roll, please) – whatever suits Sheldon Adelson.  He sugar-daddied Newt Gingrich’s ill-fated bid for the Republican nomination and has since pledged another $10 million for Mitt Romney’s campaign coffers.

Yet, anyone who thinks Adelson’s campaign donations are based purely on principle would be mistaken.  He’s made his vast financial empire largely through casino gambling, yet is rabidly opposed to giving others a fair shot in his feudal playground.  The clearest example of this is his rabid opposition to legalized online gambling and poker.  Ironically, Adelson wants his personal financial interests protected by the very government that he charges with interfering way too much business and with the rights of individuals.  So much for Adelson, the champion of free markets.

In short, it’s hard to imagine a bigger hypocrite and more dangerous puppet master than Sheldon Adelson.

Here is what Adelson said in February 2012:

“What scares me is the continuation of the socialist-style economy we’ve been experiencing for almost four years.  That scares me because the redistribution of wealth is the path to more Socialism, and to more of the government controlling people’s lives.”


So according to Adelson, President Obama is continuing a “Socialist-style economy.”  That must be a bad thing for Adelson and his vast financial empire, right?


A short time after President Obama took office (March 2009), Adelson’s net worth was estimated to be $3.4 billion.  He was ranked #178 on the world billionaires list by Forbes.


Now, three-and-a-half years later under President Obama’s policies, he is worth a reported $23.3 billion.  He is ranked #16 on the world billionaires list.

That’s quite a leap.  So much for creeping “Socialism.”



STEVE WYNN — The Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Wynn Resorts is unquestionably the most influential figure in the design and creation of what we know today as modern Las Vegas.  I’ve met Wynn a number of times and have always been impressed with his passion and natural charisma.

That said, Wynn comes across as a dupe when he discusses politics and the impact of the current administration.  He really knows nothing about governance at all.  No doubt, Wynn is a master of creating illusion.  He’s a genius when it comes to volcanoes, gigantic water fountains, and sparkling hotels.  But his insight into government and public policy is a “mirage.”

Here is what Wynn said in July 2011:

“I’m afraid to do anything in the current political environment in the United States….I’m saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime….until he’s gone, everybody’s going to be sitting on their thumbs.”


So, has Wynn been “sitting on his thumbs?”

Uh, well — no.

Fact is, Wynn’s thumbs have been doing a lot of ribbon cutting.  Right after Obama was elected, Wynn doubled the size of his casino-resort when Encore opened up in December 2008.  Be built it and they came.  Since then, he’s increased his net worth by an estimated $200 million.

According to Forbes, Wynn had a personal fortune estimated to be about $2.3 billion (as of 2009).  The latest Forbes rankings show Wynn now at $2.5 billion in net personal worth.


No doubt, Wynn’s net worth hasn’t quite skyrocketed into Adelson’s financial universe filled with galaxies of kryptonite.  But for this casino executive to crow about the President being a “wet blanket” while personally earning hundreds of millions of dollars in the midst of a recession is flat out silly.



DONALD J. TRUMP — I’ve saved the worst of the worst for last.

Who in their right mind would take any advice whatsoever from a buffoon who could not even succeed in the casino business?  How tough is it to make a steady profit when you pretty much have a monopoly on gaming in the Northeast?

Well, “the Donald” managed go broke.  Not once.  Not twice.  Not even three times.


Consider Trump’s record.  It’s not pretty.

Trump Taj Mahal – bankrupt in 1991.

Trump Plaza – bankrupt in 1992.

Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts – bankrupt in 2005.

Finally, Trump Entertainment Resorts – bankrupt in March 2009, less than two months after President Obama took office (perhaps the decline of the Trump casino empire was Obama’s fault).

Pretty pathetic when Trump repeatedly stiffs creditors, including several small businesses, and then has the audacity of flirt with a run for the presidency.  Even worse, is that anyone in America would have any regard for anything he says or believes.  He’s toxic.

The man who once helped run an entire football league (USFL) into the ground, once owned an airline that never once turned a profit and flopped miserably (Trump Airlines), is now regarded as a political pundit in some circles.  He should be a laughingstock.  He can’t get a loan.  They guy’s credit is so bad he’s forced to borrow from the Russians and the Chinese.

Here’s what Donald Trump said in April 2011:

“He’s a terrible president.  I think he’s gonna go down as the worst president ever, frankly.”


Oh, the irony.  “The worst president ever” has sure turned out to be an incredible financial boost for The Donald.  Trump’s estimated net worth was $1.6 billion when President Obama took office, in early 2009.  Since then, he has clearly made more money (despite running from his creditors in the Trump Entertainment Resorts debacle).  But no one could possibly have imagined HOW WELL Trump has done since President Obama was elected.

In a figure that can only be described as baffling, Trump now says he is worth (sit down and place your hand on the bottom of your jaw, folks)…..


That’s right.  Trump now claims to be worth $7 billion.  Don’t take my word for it.  See the source, which is Trump himself.


We can probably ascribe Trump’s braggadocios bombast as a sure sign he’s delusional – or an outright liar and fraud.  Take your pick.

But the bottom line is – Trump is a buffoon.  It’s hard to believe that some people in this country actually take him seriously.



So, three current and former casino tycoons claim that President Obama is bad for business and hinders the creation of wealth.

Who’s wealth?

Not theirs, obviously.

Next time any of these hypocrites go public with comments about the Obama Administration, each would be wise to insert a disclaimer:

“I’ve personally made a fortune while President Obama has been in office.  But I do not agree with his policies, and here’s why….”

Until those words are spoken, none of them has one iota of credibility.



  1. Hi Nolan,

    As always well written post. You make a credible case for why these three people should preface their criticism and show some gratitude. I just have a question of logic, that nagged at the back of my mind when reading, that maybe you can address. Whether they preface their disregard or not, is their criticism of policy that helped their own personal gain and their tremendous accumulation of wealth during those policies hypocritical? Ungrateful yes, stupid maybe (I don’t know enough about policy to weigh in on that), but hypocritical? I’m not suggestion any of these men are by nature altruistic or particularly concerned about the common good, but are they hypocrites?

    Taking politics out of it, I can be opposed to something that individually is very good to me. That doesn’t make me a hypocrite. Perhaps, I’m the exception and I can see that, or perhaps my gain is less important than others losses. Or perhaps I’m stupid. You fill in the blank.

    It wasn’t hypocritical of Warren Buffet to say “Tax us billionaires… please?” even though his personal bottom line was adversely impacted.

    I know it’s probably just semantics, and in truth doesn’t really change the point of your post too much, but it was tripping me up. Maybe I’m missing something?

    • Excellent points, Bill. Thank you for writing.

      Elaboration on the question of hypocrisy varies by individual.

      In Adelson’s case, he’s clearly a hypocrite. He steadfastly opposes online gambling (presumably because of worries about underage gambling, which is bunk), yet has made his vast fortune via gambling. Moreover, he cries about government being too intrusive, and yet demands that the government ban this activity. He’s a hypocrite, plain and simple. And that does not even begin to address his climb up the wealth ladder during the past four years.

      I do believe the blanket charge of hypocrisy does apply to each of these moguls, at least in part. This is because their comments mislead the public into thinking businesspeople and “creators of wealth” (a term I find offensive, by the way) have suffered during the time President Obama has been in office. I’ll use your term, “politics aside” — it doesn’t matter what your views are — these tycoons have made a fortune that past four years. A FORTUNE.

      Hence, I believe this fact should be acknowledged before they launch into the stale talking points about Obama socialism, et al.

      Once again, I appreciate the clarification and the alternative view on this.

  2. Nolan: If you look at LVS (Las Vegas Sands) stock price in 2007 it reached a high of close to $140. During the last few months of the Bush administration in late 2008 it went as low as $3 per share.

    Sheldon Adelson’s net worth was decimated by over 90% during the last year Bush was in office. Of course, there was a big recovery during Obama’s term afterwards…

    Not sure what to make of these guys because you could see similar net worth collapses with both Steve Wynn and Donald Trump during 2007-2008, too.

    Maybe it’s like those Republicans out in the countryside of Red states voting against their own best interests?

  3. nolan, this list of trump business failures comes from rolling stone magazine:

    trump super premium vodka
    launched 2006
    folded 2010 travelocity-powered search engine
    opened 2006
    closed 2007

    trump magazine
    launched 2007
    died 2009

    trump mortgage – brokerage company
    launched 2006
    folded 2007

    trump shuttle
    began 1988
    due to multiple loan defaults, business was turned over to its creditors
    ceased to exist as of 1992

    trump tower – tampa, fla
    broke ground 2006
    soon went bankrupt
    trump claims he had only licensed his name for this project

    trump: the game – milton bradley
    marketed 1989
    sold 800,000 units although trump expected 20,000,000
    product was soon discontinued, but was recently re-marketed

    trump university
    cost: $35,000 per student for “gold seminar”
    investigation by texas attorney general resulted in shut-down in texas
    california class action fraud lawsuit pending

    trump entertainment resorts
    due to various mismanagements (including two bankruptcies), trump was forced to give up more and more of his interests in new jersey casinos
    most recently, in 2009, trump yielded back all of his interests and resigned as ceo. company filed for bankruptcy later that week

  4. Holy shit.


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