Sheldon Adelson, the Chairman and CEO of global gaming giant Las Vegas Sands and its Macau subsidiary Sands China Ltd, has been diagnosed with cancer, according to US media reports.
Associated Press reported on Friday that Las Vegas Sands had confirmed the diagnosis, with LVS spokesman Ron Reese stating, “Mr Adelson is still dealing with certain side effects from the medication he is taking for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“These side effects have restricted his availability to travel or keep regular office hours.”
Adelson’s health had become a source of widespread speculation in recent weeks with reports that he had not been sighted in the LVS offices since Christmas. The 85-year-old was also a notable absentee from the company’s 4Q18 earnings call on 23 January.
However, the serious nature of Adelson’s condition only came to light this week when LVS lawyer Jim Jefferson informed a district judge that the billionaire gaming mogul was unlikely to testify in an upcoming civil lawsuit due to ill health.
Following a previous judgement against LVS in the Supreme Court, the Clark County District Court is set to determine the amount of damages LVS should pay in relation to a suit brought by Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen, who claims he played a key role in helping Adelson and LVS win its highly lucrative Macau gaming concession in 2002. The civil suit could cost LVS north of US$100 million.
Addressing the district judge last Monday, Jefferson said he “recently learned of the dire nature of Mr Adelson’s condition, health, and that he had, in fact, not participated in the company proceedings in terms of being physically present in Las Vegas at the company on Las Vegas Boulevard, since approximately Christmas Day.”
Adelson has long suffered from peripheral neuropathy, a condition brought about by damage to the peripheral nerves and which causes weakness, numbness and pain in the hands and feet.
Despite his latest health battle, LVS said in a Friday statement that treatment has not prevented Adelson from fulfilling his duties as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director and Chairman of the Nomination Committee of the company,” adding “the company anticipates that Mr Adelson will return to his regular schedule at the completion of his treatment.”
Inside Asian Gaming will provide further updates as they develop.