Adelson steps down from business for further cancer treatment

Jon Pill
Posted on: January 10, 2021 04:58 PST

Sheldon Adelson has taken medical leave from running the Las Vegas Sands Corp in order to undergo another round of treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Adelson is a controversial figure in the poker world. Although the Venetian — one of his Vegas properties — is one of the poker hot spots in Paradise City, Adelson has been active in lobbying against online poker in the U.S. He has even gone so far as to spend hundreds of millions on anti-online poker campaigns.

Adelson's fight with cancer has been ongoing. Originally diagnosed in 2018 he underwent treatment back in 2019.

His health issues, which also include long term peripheral neuropathy, ultimately led to rumors of him standing down. There was also speculation that this was the reason behind the recent sales of Sands properties. And behind the negotiations for possible takeovers.

Previously, his time away from the office was downplayed by Sands spokespeople. One of whom was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying: “Mr. Adelson is still dealing with certain side effects from medication he is taking for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These side effects have restricted his availability to travel or keep regular office hours. They have not, however, prevented him from fulfilling his duties as chairman and CEO.”

Treatment troubles

This time, however, the matter seems more serious and Adelson is stepping down.

In Adelson's period of absence, Robert G. Goldstein is taking over the reins. Goldstein is the CEO and president of the Sand corporation and its Chinese holdings.

This doesn't appear to have spooked investors too much, though. Deutsche Bank Analysts described Goldstein as “more than simply well equipped to perform the active duties in the absence of Mr. Adelson during his treatment.”

The Deutsche Bank report continued: “Further, as it pertains to the international activities of LVS, we believe relevant governments are aware that the commitments made by Mr. Adelson, on behalf of the company, are generational and as such, we do not believe there will be concerns around a change in strategy in Mr. Adelson’s absence.”

Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are a large group of about 60 different cancers, but most are treated with an R-CHOP chemotherapy regimen. That's a brutal chemical cocktail of five different steroids and poisons. He may also be looking at stem-cell transplants or radiotherapy, both of which can leave the patient immunocompromised.

For an 87-year old man, that's a rough ride.

That said, survival rates are pretty good. Even stage-4 sufferers have better than even odds of making it another five-years from diagnosis.

In the meantime, it looks like business as usual at the Venetian.

Image source: Flickr