Billionaire Adelson Directs $30bn Fortune Toward Texas Politics and Casino Expansion

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In a world where wealth oftentimes equates to influence, 78-year-old Dr. Miriam Adelson stands as a pivotal figure in the current American political landscape. As the controlling shareholder of Las Vegas Sands, after the 2021 passing of her husband, Sheldon Adelson, she estimates her wealth at around $30 billion. Yet, rather than placing her financial weight behind the prospective 2024 presidential bid of old acquaintance Donald Trump, her recent focus has sharpened on the state of Texas.

Her late husband, who at the time of his death was 87 and succumbing to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, held a long-standing desire to extend his casino empire into Texas territory. Dr. Adelson, stepping into her powerful role, has kept this expansion goal alive, pouring millions of dollars into lobbying efforts with state lawmakers.

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Texas has yet to take the plunge into Las Vegas-style casino gambling—the linchpin of Adelson’s interests—but that has not deterred her aspirations. Beyond her entrenched interest in the casino business, she pursued and acquired a controlling interest in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks in the previous year. The colossal deal, concluding at a staggering $3.5 billion, saw Adelson buying the team from fellow billionaire, Mark Cuban.

Fortifying her Texan interests, rumors have surfaced that Adelson has recently formed a political action committee (PAC) in Texas, stuffing it with ample funds intended for the 2024 elections. A perfect illustration of this commitment lies in the newly revealed campaign finance records, which show that Dr. Adelson, has established the Texas Defense PAC, infusing it with a formidable $9 million. This newly-formed committee backs GOP state lawmakers in primary defenses against what traditional Republicans deem as “far-right” or “extreme” candidates.

Among those benefiting from Adelson’s financial backing are state Reps. Frederick Frazier of McKinney, Justin Holland of Rockwall, and John Kuempel of Sequin, each of whom have been gifted $400K from the PAC. Kuempel is a significant recipient, given his failed attempts last year to introduce casino gaming and sports betting.

The Texas Defense PAC also backs John McQueeney in his campaign for House District 97’s seat, vacated by Representative Craig Goldman, who is running for Congress. McQueeney too is an advocate for bringing casino resorts to Texas, voicing support for voters having a say in permitting resort-style casinos under a limited set of licenses in the state.

While the Adelsons have been known to back Trump’s previous presidential bids, contributing more than $200 million in total, Dr. Adelson has noticeably refrained from supporting any particular presidential candidate in the 2024 race. Notwithstanding, her contributions to the political landscape, more considerably in the state of Texas, remain notable as she continues the legacy left by her late husband.