Since the dawn of the modern age, casino games have been a part of our leisure time. The industry may have a glamorous reputation, but gambling has also had its fair share of drama, scandal, and triumph! These 5 casino legends helped make modern gambling what it is today, writing themselves into the casino hall of fame as the industry’s most powerful players.
Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegal was known for many things. Born in 1906 in New York City, Siegal started his days as a street thug, but soon climbed the ranks to become one of America’s most feared crime bosses at the time. Siegal was an illicit bookmaker and one of Hollywood’s most revered playboys, although his most notable achievement was in the casino world.
Siegel forever changed the landscape of Las Vegas when he constructed the expensive and exclusive Flamingo Hotel and Casino in 1946 – only to be murdered under mysterious circumstances shortly afterwards. Many credit Siegel with the unofficial founding of Las Vegas as we know it today. But did he truly found the Las Vegas strip? The jury is out on that one…
President Donald Trump was always a successful entrepreneur, and his history with casinos is no different! Trump purchased his first casino properties on the Atlantic City boardwalk in 1980, and was awarded his first casino license by New Jersey just 2 years later. Soon, he had become involved in the Holiday Inn Casino Hotel, changing its name to the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.
Trump also purchased several other local casinos throughout the 1980’s, naming them the legendary Trump Marina and Trump Taj Mahal resorts, and also beginning the well-attended Trump World Fair. The business mogul has acquired many other casino establishments since – but Donald Trump can certainly be credited with turning Atlantic City into the massive gambling hub it is today.
Sheldon Adelson is the founder, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation – one of the world’s most prolific gambling operators. At 82, Adelson is still impressively involved with the running of his enormous company, and his contributions to the gambling world over the years have been nothing short of spectacular.
Adelson owns numerous casinos in the USA, Singapore and Macau, having also coined the idea for integrated hotel and casino resorts. This integrated resort trend can now be seen across the globe, and played an instrumental role in the development of worldwide gambling.
Steve Wynn is credited with some of the most legendary casinos in the world. Wynn began his career in the 1970’s by acquiring the Vegas-based Golden Nugget Casino. This was quickly turned into a casino resort, attracting an affluent market and forever changing the way land-based casinos were designed and built.
Mr Wynn then went on to open The Mirage – one of Las Vegas’ most iconic casino resorts. Wynn Resorts Ltd. still remains one of the largest gambling operators in the world, having opened several more highly successful Vegas and Macau casino complexes with his trademark exotic designs.
Stanley and Lawrence Ho
This father and son team is credited with having almost single-handedly turned Macau into the global gambling hub that it is today. Dr Stanley Ho began working in Macau at the age of 22, and by the 1960’s, Ho had partnered with some of the most formidable names in the gambling industry and won a public tender for a state-granted monopoly for gambling in Macau.
Dr Ho’s son, Lawrence Ho, has since also entered the industry, heading major casino corporations like Summit Ascent and the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone for Asian high rollers.