Vegas oddmakers should bet against Sheldon Adelson.
The casino magnate and Republican mega-donor’s losing streak continued with the latest news that his Las Vegas Sands Corporation admitted in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had “likely” violated a federal law against bribing foreign officials. The annual regulatory report states “that there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”
The SEC, Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are all investigating Adelson’s company over its business dealings in Macau, China.
Adelson is also running into trouble in Spain, where activists are protesting against Las Vegas Sands’ plans to build a massive 1,850-acre casino project outside of Madrid called EuroVegas.
In the last election, Adelson vowed to spend $100 million to defeat President Obama. He ended up spending a single donor record $98 million on conservative Republican candidates (although with “dark money,” that number could approach more than $150 million). And while Adelson’s biggest fails were backing losers Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, his overall return on investment, along with his wife Miriam, was only 40 percent.
The Macau investigations are one reason some speculated that Adelson backed Romney. The investigations into possible illicit ties with Chinese officials and gangsters, particularly stemming from the shadowy financial relationship with the Sands’ legal council Leonel Alves, could cause Adelson to lose his license and topple his global gambling empire.
Photo credit: Bectrigger via Wikimedia Commons