Las Vegas Sands Corporation non-Executive Director Jason Ader has bought 51 million shares in bwin.party.
Chairman Sheldon Adelson’s anti-online poker campaign is in full flow, but according to Ader, Adelson made no objection to the purchase.
“He always agrees to disagree, and that’s why he likes having independent voices on his board. I never would have made the investment without him knowing,” said Ader.
Ruth Parasol DeLeon and James Russell DeLeon, the founders of partypoker, have agreed to divest their 14% shareholding over the next three years. The agreement was made as part of New Jersey license negotiations with the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
Ader was a Wall Street gambling and leisure analyst before founding his own investment firm, Ader Investment Management LLC. He explained that he made the investment because he felt bwin.party was “undervalued and has been underperforming.”
bwin.party shareholder rules mean that any shareholder with a 5% stake in the company has the right to nominate a main board director. Now that Ader has the requisite shareholding, he could theoretically sit on both boards, the Las Vegas Sands and bwin.party.
Adelson is now the world’s 8th richest man according to Forbes magazine, with a fortune of over $40bn. Even though he made that wealth from the gambling business, and is perhaps the most successful casino owner in the US, the industry has almost unanimously failed to support his attempts to ban online gaming.
Sheldon Adelson is now 80 years old, an “old man in a hurry” whose time has passed.