Las Vegas Sands’ Dr. Miriam Adelson Contributes $9M to Texas Campaigns

Estimated read time 4 min read

Dr. Miriam Adelson, the 78-year-old worth an estimated $30 billion and the controlling shareholder of Las Vegas Sands following the death of her late husband is ramping up her political spending. However, her deep pockets aren’t yet directly supporting her friend Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign but are instead focused on races in Texas.

Dr. Miriam Adelson has contributed $9 million to a political committee in Texas supporting Republican candidates on the state and federal levels. Adelson remains interested in bringing her Las Vegas Sands casino business to the Lone Star State. (Image: AP)

Adelson’s husband, Sheldon Adelson, who died in January 2021 at the age of 87 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, long sought to expand his casino empire into Texas. The company has carried on his mission to gain Lone State entry by spending millions of dollars in recent years lobbying state lawmakers.

Though Texas hasn’t yet legalized Las Vegas-style casino gambling, Adelson remains fixated on the state. Along with acquiring a controlling interest in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks last year from billionaire Mark Cuban in a transaction worth $3.5 billion, Adelson remains fixated on bringing Sands to Texas.

In hopes of gaining political allies in Austin, reports surfaced this week that Adelson has formed a political action committee (PAC) in the state and has flushed it with cash for the 2024 elections.

Texas Defense Fund

Newly disclosed campaign finance records reveal that Adelson, while not overly active on the federal spending level, is lively in Texas. A recently formed committee called the Texas Defense PAC has a $9 million war chest. The funds came directly from Adelson, who cut the check earlier this month.

Texas Defense is supporting GOP state lawmakers in their primary defenses against candidates who traditional Republicans consider “far-right” and “extreme.” The PAC has given $400K each to state Reps. Frederick Frazier (R-McKinney), Justin Holland (R-Rockwall), and John Kuempel (R-Seguin).

Kuempel was behind a failed effort last year to authorize casino gaming and sports betting. House bill 2843 was tabled after facing long odds in the Senate and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) expressing opposition to gaming in the governor’s administration.

Texas Defense is also supporting John McQueeney in his campaign to fill House District 97’s seat being vacated by Rep. Craig Goldman who is running for Congress. McQueeney received $1.3 million from the PAC and is supportive of bringing casino resorts to Texas.           

I would support giving the voters a choice on resort-style casinos with a limited handful of licenses in the state,” McQueeney told CBS News this month. “A lot of people talk about the negativity of casinos but that negativity already persists with backroom poker games.”

“If we want to get real about property tax relief, we need to get real about revenue generation,” McQueeney continued. “I support giving the voters a choice.”

McQueeney says only destination casinos with convention facilities should be discussed. Sands is among the world’s most respected integrated resort operators and is thought to have originated the all-encompassing casino complex concept by way of Singapore with its Marina Bay Sands development.

Clock Ticking

Adelson and her husband gave more than $200 million to Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns. But with just five months before the 2024 election, Adelson remains on the presidential sidelines.

It isn’t for a lack of trying by Trump. Last October, the former president appeared at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas at The Venetian where he singled out Adelson.

“Miriam Adelson, a fantastic woman,” Trump declared. “Miriam, thank you very much. We all like her. I like her a lot.”

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