Anti-marijuana casino king appears to be quite the hypocrite

21st October 2016 by RightCasino facebook 2 mins read Category: News

As RightCasino recently reported, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has been bankrolling anti-marijuana campaigns the length and breadth of the United States.

But while Adelson – whose anti-pot position stems from the tragic loss of his son to drug addiction – might have issues with weed, he appears to have no problem with profiting from what US law enforcement officials claim are the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking.

According to, Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands casino paid $47.4 million in 2013 to resolve a US Department of Justice investigation into the casino’s dealings with one Zhenli Ye Gon.

A Chinese national, Ye Gon was the owner of a Mexican pharmaceutical factory that stood accused of importing huge quantities of the chemicals used in the creation of methamphetamine.

The DOJ investigation found that Mexico City resident Ye Gon used small exchange outlets in his adopted homeland to transfer $85 million to Sands’ establishments in Vegas where he’d play high-stakes baccarat.

Ye Gon was arrested in the US in 2007 and fought extradition requests for the better part of a decade before finally being extradited on Wednesday 19th October.

Charged with a range of crimes relating to drug dealing, organised crime and illegal weapons possession, Ye Gon is currently being held in the same Mexico City prison from which Joaquin ‘El Chapo; Guzman made his celebrated escape.

There’s no word yet on whether Sheldon Adelson has sent his valued customer a care package.

This was not Adelson’s first entanglement with law enforcement. In 2015, the multibillionaire was accused of the wrongful dismissal and defamation of a former CEO who claimed that he was fired because he stepped in to prevent payments that he felt could have been illegal.

Steven Jacobs, formerly the CEO of one of Adelson’s Macao casinos, was fired in 2010. He alleges that he was wrongfully dismissed after he stopped payments to Leonel Alves, a Macao-based legislator and lawyer, because these could be construed as bribes, and thus in breach of anti-bribery legislation.

Jacobs also said that his dismissal was linked to his objections to another shady practice – the use of Chinese triad gangs to bring high-rolling punters to the casinos. Jacobs claimed he pushed to end the involvement of triad gang members and that this didn’t go down too well with his employer.

The gaming authorities in Nevada took a keen interest in the case as Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands operations rely on licenses issued by these same authorities to keep on operating. The moral of this story is that no matter how far away your business address is, the long arm of the law has the means to get you!

Updated on 10th April 2019

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