Casinos bring in a lot of money, more than most people realize. In fact, they generate billions of dollars every year. Players come with a big chance of losing, but casino owners will always win. The house always has an edge, which means it will make more money than the players over time. 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 among the wealthiest people in Hong Kong. He is best known for being the chairman of Galaxy Entertainment Group, a casino operator in Macau, and K. Wah International Holdings, a real estate development company.
He initially built his fortune by supplying gravel for Hong Kong’s post-war real estate boom. In the 1950s, the aspiring entrepreneur established the first K. Wah company in Hong Kong. Later in his career, Lui branched out into real estate investing and then into hotel development, earning millions.
Woo never ventured into the gambling business until he turned 73 in 2002. He has established himself as a major figure in Macau’s gaming market, with Galaxy Entertainment currently owning six casinos in Hong Kong. At 92, Lui has a net worth of $12.6 billion.
2. Tilman Fertitta – $5.8 billion
Entrepreneur and television personality Tilman Fertitta is best known as the star of CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyers and owner of the NBA organization Houston Rockets. He also runs Landry, Inc., an empire that owns the Golden Nugget Casinos.
Like Lui Che Woo, Fertitta originally made his fortune through the real estate construction and development sector. In the 1980s he started his first major project, the Key Largo Hotel in Galveston, Texas. He started at Landry’s, Inc. as a partner for their chain of restaurants.
Eventually, he took Landry’s, Inc. public in 1993, and the company immediately expanded, introducing innovation after innovation. The company invested in hotels, entertainment, sports and of course casinos. Tilman bought Golden Nugget Casinos in 2005 and is now 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 as her establishment is online. She is the founder and majority shareholder of the internet gambling company Bet365. This makes Denise one of the richest women in the United Kingdom.
Coates had humble beginnings, working as an accountant. In 1995 she was appointed manager of a modest chain of stores. The aspiring businesswoman bought the Bet365.com domain after witnessing the tremendous 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 highest paid CEOs in the UK for years, owning around half of her company. Bet365 makes over $65 billion each year, giving Coates a fortune of $5.3 billion.
4. Mark Scheinberg – $5.3 billion
Mark Scheinberg is another person who found success in the online gambling business. He is a former co-owner and CEO of internet poker card room PokerStars. Scheinberg is also an avid investor, with holdings in real estate and luxury hotels, among other things.
In 2001, Scheinberg and his programmer father, Isai Scheinberg, founded PokerStars. During Mark’s tenure as CEO, it grew to become the largest online poker company in the world and home to the world’s largest online gaming tournament series.
PokerStars was sold to Amaya Gaming in 2014 for $4.9 billion. Scheinberg made approximately $3 billion from the sale of the poker business while owning 75% of it. Now he is concentrating his efforts on real estate investments. Marks has a net worth of $5.3 billion from his endeavors.
5. Johann Graf – $4.9 billion
One of the most unknown billionaires of our time is Johann Graf. He is the founder and owner of the Austrian gambling company called Novomatic. They operate international casinos and sell gaming devices such as video poker games, slot machines and electronic table games.
Graf was never expected to become a world-class businessman. Because he should be the next owner of his family’s butcher shop. He lived with his grandparents and worked as an apprentice butcher, but eventually chose a different path as a teenager.
He began his entrepreneurial career importing pinball machines from the United States to Austria. Soon he was working for a slot machine company in the UK. He founded Novomatic in 1980 and it was a success. Now Johann has made a fortune of $4.9 billion with his company.
6. James Packer – $3.9 billion
One of Australia’s wealthiest people, James Packer is famous for turning his family’s conventional media operation into the casino industry. This made him the largest shareholder in Crown Resorts, which has offices in Australia and London.
He comes from a family well known in the Australian business community. His parents are media magnates Kerry and Roslyn Packer. After his father’s death in 2005, James inherited authority over Consolidated Media Holdings, Publishing and Broadcasting Limited and Crown Resorts.
Packer planned to concentrate his family’s fortune on casino businesses. Therefore, he focused his attention more on Crown Resorts. However, in February 2022, Crown Resorts was sold to the Blackstone Group for $6.4 billion, equivalent to James Packer’s net worth of $3.9 billion.
7. Steve Wynn – $3.3 billion
Stephen Wynn is a real estate developer and art collector who built some of Vegas’ most famous casinos with his ex-wife and 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 adept at business methods, coming from an investing family. At the age of 15 he became a businessman by selling ice cream. Then he took over his father’s business.
Wynn Resorts was formed after Wynn converted his father’s bingo operation into a casino business. Before parting ways with Elaine, he was enjoying his earnings as CEO of Wynn Resorts. But even after resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations, he’s still worth over $3.3 billion.
8. Pansy Ho – $3.3 billion
When Macau’s gambling king, Stanley Ho, died in 2020, he left his fortune and business empire to his daughter, Pansy Ho. She runs Shun Tak Holdings, a real estate developer that works with Hong Kong hotels. This helped her become the second richest woman in Hong Kong.
Before Pansy inherited her father’s fortune, she worked hard for herself. After college, she tried her hand in the entertainment industry. She later switched to start a PR company when she was 26 years old. By this time, Stanley Ho was already thriving and becoming an icon in the casino sector.
Pansy has earned a reputation as one of the richest casino owners in the world and is trying to follow in her father’s legacy. Her father’s company was originally based in Macau. When she took control, she was operating in Canada. The move helped her to an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion.
9. Lorenzo Fertitta – $2.7 billion
Tilman Fertitta’s cousin, Lorenzo Fertitta, is Chairman of Red Rocks Resorts Inc. and Fertitta Capital. He rose to prominence by investing in mixed martial arts (MMA) early on. He even became the CEO of the UFC, which helped his fortunes skyrocket during his young career.
Lorenzo grew up in the gambling industry thanks to his father, Frank, who worked in several casinos in Las Vegas. In 1976, his father founded his first casino, aptly titled The Casino. Lorenzo has continued his father’s quest for 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 were able to found Fertitta Capital in 2017. Lorenzo also inherited Red Rocks Resort from his father, adding to his $2.7 billion fortune.
10. Phil Ruffin – $2 billion
Phil Ruffin’s portfolio is perhaps the most diversified of any casino operator in this ranking. Aside from casinos, he invests in hotels, oil producers, convenience stores, real estate, racetracks and more. He is also a close business partner of former President Donald Trump.
He began his career in convenience stores in the 1970s. In Kansas, he pioneered the development of self-service gas stations. He transferred the income from this company to the hotel industry. He started by opening Marriott in 1987. Then he got into casinos.
Ruffin’s most successful gaming ventures include New Frontier, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino, and Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. He became famous for his close ties to the Trump Organization. Phil owns half of the shares in Trump International Las Vegas Hotel. His net worth is $2 billion.