Casinos bring in a lot of money, more than most people may realize. In fact, they generate billions of dollars each year. Players come in with a big chance of losing, but the casino owners will always win. The house always has an edge, which means that over time, they will make more money than the players. Here are the leading individuals earning the most from their gambling establishments.
Top 10 Wealthiest Casino Owners in 2022:
1. Lui Che Woo – $12.6 Billion
Lui Che Woo is a business mogul and investor who is one of the most affluent individuals in Hong Kong. He is most known for being the chairman of the Galaxy Entertainment Group, a Macau casino provider, and K. Wah International Holdings, a property development firm.
He built his fortune initially by delivering gravel for Hong Kong’s postwar property boom. In the 1950s, the aspiring entrepreneur founded the first K. Wah firm in Hong Kong. Later on in his career, Lui branched out to property investing and then to hotel development and made millions from it.
Woo never ventured into the gambling business until he turned 73 in 2002. He has established himself as a major character in the Macau gambling market, with Galaxy Entertainment presently owning six casinos in Hong Kong. At 92 years old, Lui has a net worth of $12.6 billion.
2. Tilman Fertitta – $5.8 Billion
The entrepreneur and television personality Tilman Fertitta is most recognized as the star of CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer and owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets organization. He also heads Landry, Inc., an empire that has the Golden Nugget Casinos under its brand.
Like Lui Che Woo, Fertitta originally made his wealth through the property construction and development sector. In the 1980s, he launched his first extensive project, the Key Largo Hotel in Galveston, Texas. In Landry’s, Inc., he started out as a partner for their restaurant chain.
He ended up taking Landry’s, Inc. public in 1993, and the firm immediately expanded, introducing innovation after innovation. The enterprise invested in hotels, entertainment, sports, and of course, casinos. Tilman bought Golden Nugget Casinos in 2005, and now, he is worth $5.8 billion.
3. Denise Coates – $5.3 Billion
Unlike the first two billionaires on this list, Denise Coates does not have a physical casino because her establishment is online. She is the creator and majority shareholder of the web gambling company Bet365. With this, Denise is considered one of the richest women in the United Kingdom.
Coates had humble beginnings, working as an accountant. In 1995, she was named managing director of a modest chain of stores. The aspiring businesswoman purchased the domain Bet365.com after witnessing the huge growth of internet gambling in 2000.
In 2016, Bet365 was recognized as one of the largest online betting platforms in the world. She has been one of the best-earning chief executives in Britain for years because she owns about half of her company. Bet365 makes over $65 billion every year, giving Coates a $5.3 billion fortune.
4. Mark Scheinberg – $5.3 Billion
Mark Scheinberg is another individual who thrived in the online gambling business. He is a former co-owner and CEO of the internet poker cardroom PokerStars. Scheinberg is also an avid investor, with holdings in real estate and luxury hotels, among other areas.
In 2001, Scheinberg and his programmer father Isai Scheinberg launched PokerStars. Throughout Mark’s time as CEO, it grew to become the largest online poker company in the globe, as well as the home of the world’s largest online gambling tournament series.
PokerStars was sold to Amaya Gaming in 2014 for $4.9 billion. Scheinberg reaped approximately $3 billion from the sale of the poker business while holding 75% of it. Now, he is focusing his efforts on real estate investments. Marks holds a net worth of $5.3 billion from his endeavors.
5. Johann Graf – $4.9 Billion
One of the most unheard-of billionaires today is Johann Graf. He is the founder and owner of the Austrian gambling company called Novomatic. They operate international casinos and sell gambling equipment, such as video poker games, slot machines, and electronic table games.
Graf was never expected to be a world-class businessman. That is because he was supposed to be the next owner of his family’s butcher shop. He lived with his grandparents and worked as an apprentice butcher, but he eventually decided to take another route when he was a teenager.
He started his entrepreneurship career by importing pinball machines from the United States to Austria. He soon worked for a slot company in the United Kingdom. He founded Novomatic in 1980, and it was a success. Now, Johann has made a fortune of $4.9 billion from his company.
6. James Packer – $3.9 Billion
James Packer, one of Australia’s wealthiest individuals, is famous for transitioning his family’s conventional media operation to the casino industry. With this, he became the biggest shareholder of Crown Resorts, which has branches in Australia and London.
He comes from a family well-known in Australia’s business sector. His parents are media tycoons Kerry and Roslyn Packer. After his father died in 2005, James inherited the authority over Consolidated Media Holdings, Publishing and Broadcasting Limited, and Crown Resorts.
Packer planned to center his family’s fortune around casino enterprises. Thus, he focused his attention more on Crown Resorts. However, in February 2022, Crown Resorts was sold to The Blackstone Group for $6.4 billion, amounting to James Packer’s $3.9 billion net worth.
7. Steve Wynn – $3.3 Billion
Stephen Wynn is a property developer and art collector who built some of Vegas’ most famous casinos with his ex-wife and fellow casino billionaire, Elaine Wynn. Together, they created Treasure Island, The Mirage, Wynn Las Vegas, and more.
Steve’s father was the one who introduced him to the gambling business with his bingo halls. He was well-versed in business methods because he came from a family of investors. He became a businessman at the young age of 15 by selling ice cream. Then, he took over his dad’s business.
Wynn Resorts was founded after Wynn transformed his father’s bingo operation into a casino venture. Before splitting up with Elaine, he enjoyed his profits as CEO of Wynn Resorts. But even after stepping down due to sexual misconduct allegations, he is still worth over $3.3 billion.
8. Pansy Ho – $3.3 Billion
When Macau’s King of Gambling, Stanley Ho, died in 2020, he left his fortune and business empire to his daughter Pansy Ho. She runs Shun Tak Holdings, a property developer that works with Hong Kong hotels. This helped her become the second richest woman in Hong Kong.
Before inheriting her father’s wealth, Pansy worked hard on her own. After college, she tried out in the entertainment industry. She later moved to start a public relations company when she turned 26. At this time, Stanley Ho was already flourishing and becoming an icon in the casino sector.
Pansy has earned a reputation as one of the wealthiest casino owners in the world, trying to follow in her father’s legacy. Her father’s company was originally based in Macau. When she took control, she operated in Canada. This move helped her gain an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion.
9. Lorenzo Fertitta – $2.7 Billion
Cousin of Tilman Fertitta, Lorenzo Fertitta, is the chair of Red Rocks Resort Inc. and Fertitta Capital. He rose to prominence by being an early investor in mixed martial arts (MMA). He even became the CEO of the UFC, which helped his wealth skyrocket during his young career.
Lorenzo grew up in the gambling industry thanks to his father, Frank, who worked at several casinos in Las Vegas. In 1976, his father founded his first casino, appropriately titled The Casino. Lorenzo has maintained his father’s pursuit of off-Strip casino sites with his older brother, Frank Jr.
Frank Jr. and Lorenzo bought the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for $2 million. 15 years later, they sold it for $4 billion. With their money, they got to launch Fertitta Capital in 2017. Lorenzo also inherited Red Rocks Resort from his father, which factors into his $2.7 billion wealth.
10. Phil Ruffin – $2 Billion
Phil Ruffin’s portfolio is perhaps the most diversified of all of the casino operators on this ranking. Aside from casinos, he invests in hotels, oil producers, convenience stores, real estate, racing tracks, and more. He is also a close business partner of former president Donald Trump.
In the 1970s, he started out his business career in convenience stores. In Kansas, he was a pioneer in the development of self-service gasoline stations. He transferred the revenues from this venture into the hotel industry. He started by opening Marriott in 1987. Then, he got into casinos.
Ruffin’s most successful gambling endeavors include New Frontier, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino, and Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. He got fame by having close ties with the Trump Organization. Phil owns half of the shares in Trump International Las Vegas Hotel. His net worth is $2 billion.