Skip To Content
Breaking News

Sheldon Adelson Scores Touchdown as Nevada Approves $750M Football Stadium Deal

Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish casino billionaire and political donor extraordinaire, has an unlikely benefactor – the citizens of Nevada. As part of a consortium of investors relocating the Oakland Raiders to the nation’s gambling capital, Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands company helped push through the state legislature $750 million in public funding to build a football stadium in the city.

On Friday, the legislature narrowly approved the deal, and Adelson’s representatives exulted.

“It’s exciting,” gushed Andy Abboud, head lobbyist for Las Vegas Sands, in an interview with the Associated Press. “But this is really about jobs, and I think at the end of the day people saw this as a fantastic economic stimulus package.”

Abboud and supporters of the stadium claimed that the project would create 14,000 permanent jobs, and 25,000 construction jobs in the short term.

Critics have disputed those numbers, and slammed the public funding as a special interest subsidy. “Score another one for crony capitalist boondoogles,” fumed Anthony L. Fisher in the libertarian Reason Magazine. He disputed the idea that Nevada would experience growth in employment and tax receipts in exchange for its largesse.

Aside from the state backing, Las Vegas Sands and the Raiders will shoulder the construction expenses, chipping in $650 million and $500 million, respectively.

Adelson wields considerable influence in Las Vegas and Nevada. Financial kingmaker to Republican politicians in the United States and the rightwing in Israel, he also has thrown his money around in his hometown.

Last year, in a shadowy move that raised concerns about journalistic ethics, the casino owner bought the city’s newspaper record, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and fired numerous staffers viewed as hostile to him.

Nonetheless, the move was cheered by representatives of the construction trade, who said their workers have been ailing since the Great Recession. “It means the world for our families,” union organizer Kevin McLin told the AP. “The stadium is going to be the hero for everybody.”

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at [email protected] or on Twitter [@DanielJSolomon](


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.