Forbes has recently released its annual list of the world's wealthiest people, and to little surprise there are plenty of familiar names included from the poker and the gaming industry.
Chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson, tops this list with an estimated $31.4 billion in net worth. This is good enough for an 18th on the worldwide list and a 13th on the USA rankings.
Despite Adelson's riches, his net worth is down from an estimated $38 billion in 2014 when he was the eighth wealthiest person reported on the Forbes list. Adelson has been using some of his wealth to spend hundreds of millions of dollars financing politicians who support his cause to prohibit Internet gambling.
Chinese businessman Lui Che-woo was the only other person in gaming in the worldwide top 100, listed at $11.6 billion in net worth, which is good enough for 82nd place. Che-woo established K. Wah Company in Hong Kong during the 1950s, which is the ultimate parent company of a few successful Asian-based casinos, including StarWorld Macau, the Grand Waldo Hotel on the Cotai Strip, and Galaxy Macau.
A bit further down the list is another familiar name, Mark Scheinberg. The 41-year-old Israeli-born Canadian citizen and college dropout who currently lives in the Isle of Man made his fortune from online poker and is ranked 405th in the world and 10th in Canada, as reported by PokerNews Canada's Lane Anderson.
Scheinberg made his fortune at just 28 years of age when he founded PokerStars with his programmer father, Isai Scheinberg. Rational Group, the parent company of both PokerStars and Full Tilt was sold to Montreal-based Amaya Gaming for $4.9 billion in 2014, instantly adding $3.6 billion in wealth to the younger Scheinberg.
Further down on the list is cofounder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberté. Laliberté's $1.9 billion in wealth places him in 1,006th place worldwide and 22nd place in Canada.
While to most of the world, Laliberté is known for being the brains behind the very popular Cirque du Soleil, the poker world also knows him as the founder of the One Drop Foundation, an organization that helps provide access to clean water around the world. The One Drop Foundation receives millions of dollars a year via contributions from poker players at the World Series of Poker, where not only players are encouraged to donate, but also stage a couple of tournaments dedicated to raising money through tournament fees.
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