Las Vegas is an adult playground built on big dreams. Almost anything you want, you can get your hands on in Sin City – no matter what time of day it is. Even now, in the midst of a pandemic, Las Vegas is open for business. While huge conglomerations tend to run most of the hotel resorts and casinos, there are a handful of billionaire businesspeople who played a strong part in building Las Vegas into the thriving entertainment destination it is today. From the Fertitta brothers to Steve and Elaine Wynn to Phil Ruffin to Sheldon Adelson, six of Las Vegas' billionaire residents have helped shape the city. The seventh billionaire is a Walton heiress whose philanthropic efforts aid the Las Vegas Valley greatly. Without these billionaires, there'd be no Mirage or Bellagio. There'd be no UFC. A number of these billionaires also have billionaire relatives in other states.
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Lorenzo Fertitta took over Station Casinos with his brother Frank Fertitta III. Their father founded the company but the brothers developed it into an operator of several hotel-casino resorts. Lorenzo runs the family business, the publicly traded Red Rock Resorts and Chairman of Fertitta Capital. Lorenzo is also the former CEO of the UFC until he and Frank sold it to WMG-IMG for $4 billion in 2016. Lorenzo attended high school in Las Vegas at Bishop Gorman High School. He got his bachelor's degree from the University of San Diego and an MBA from NYU.
Frank Fertitta III
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Like his younger brother, much of Frank Fertitta III's net worth comes from buying UFC in 2001 for $2 million and selling it for $4 billion in 2016. The family casino business operates 21 casinos and hotels including Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa, Green Valley Ranch, Palms, Palace Station, and Sunset Station, among others. Frank Fertitta III graduated from the University of Southern California.
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Elaine Wynn co-founded Mirage Resorts and Wynn Resorts with her ex-husband Steve Wynn. She served as the Director of Wynn Resorts, Limited, the real estate development firm founded by her husband. Many insiders point to Wynn as the company most responsible for the revitalization of Las Vegas. Wynn Resorts constructed or rehabilitated such Las Vegas hotspots as the Golden Nugget, The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Wynn, and Encore. She is the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts. She currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has two adult children. She sits on the board of the Basketball Hall of Fame and is the co-chair of the Board of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
Phil Ruffin is a real estate investor and casino owner. In the early 70s, he became the first businessman to offer self-serve gas in Kansas, and his convenience store grew from one location to 60 stores spread out all over the Midwest. He used the profits from his convenience store chain to open a Marriot Hotel in Wichita. From there, he expanded into oil distribution and moving equipment. After leasing his convenience stores to another company, he purchased additional hotels, and then the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. He has since added Treasure Island, the Trump International Tower, and various other real estate developments to his impressive portfolio. He is close friends with President Donald Trump.
Net Worth: $3.1 Billion
Steve Wynn's personal and commercial contributions to both the Las Vegas Strip and the city at large have radically improved the fortunes of Las Vegas forever. In 1971, Wynn managed to parlay his profits from a land deal involving Howard Hughes and Caesars Palace into a controlling interest in the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. Wynn renovated, revamped and expanded the Golden Nugget from a gambling hall to a resort hotel and casino with enormous success, in the process, he attracted a new upscale clientele to downtown Las Vegas. Wynn's first major casino on the Las Vegas Strip was The Mirage, which opened on November 22, 1989. On October 15, 1998, Wynn opened the even more opulent Bellagio. He also owns Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.
Nancy Walton Laurie
Net Worth: $4.6 Billion
Nancy Walton Laurie is the daughter of Bud Walton, one of the co-founders of Wal-Mart. After her father passed away in 1995, she and her sister gained control of his portion of the company's stock. She met her husband, Bill Laurie in college. She is a major philanthropist backing cancer research, shelters for abused women, hospitals, and higher education. Nancy and her husband live in Henderson, Nevada, and have one child.
Net Worth: $35 Billion
Let's put it this way, Sheldon Adelson controls about 54% of the world's largest casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited, which operates the Sands Expo and Convention Center and The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Adelson's source of wealth originates from his partnership in creating the trade show COMDEX for the computer industry. Adelson purchased and razed the legendary Sands hotel in Las Vegas, spending $1.5 billion to construct The Venetian, an all-suite Venice-themed resort hotel and casino, in its place. The creation of the Venetian revolutionized the Las Vegas hotel industry. He also owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom.