Some of the well-known casino pioneers in the world include Claudine Williams, Steve Wynn, and Sheldon Adelson.
As a pioneer, Claudine Williams transformed the gaming industry of the city of Las Vegas by being the first female to manage and operate a Strip casino. She is considered as one of the pioneers who shaped and helped make Las Vegas synonymous with fun and fair value. Williams left high school at the age of 15 to pursue a career in gaming and never pursued a college education thereafter. She was the first woman to own a casino and purchased her first one in Las Vegas before she was 21 years old. Williams and her husband opened the Holiday Inn-Holiday Casino in 1973 and operated it until it was sold to Harrah’s in the 1980s and was renamed Harrah’s Las Vegas. After that, she maintained an office at the resort as an advisor to the company executives. Notwithstanding her ninth-grade education and contending in what was then a mainly male dominated industry Williams dedicated her time and funds to giving others an opportunity for an education. She also proved that women could stand up to men by being the first female to qualify for the Nevada Gaming Hall of Fame and holding several major job posts in her city.
Steve Wynn, another leading developer and pioneer of the casino industry in Las Vegas, had an extraordinary vision and his impact on the gaming industry cannot be overstated. Wynn built the Mirage Resorts featuring some of the most luxurious accommodation and eye-opening entertainment in town. His second casino was the Bellagio, which comprised of an artificial lake and a gallery that housed excellent artworks. The Bellagio casino was credited for leading the reincarnation of Las Vegas as a luxury destination for affluent travellers in the 1990s. Wynn sold the Mirage Resorts in 2000 and opened what is his most expensive project to date – the Wynn Las Vegas, in 2005. A year later, he opened the Wynn Macau in Asia, the largest gaming jurisdiction.
Adelson and his associates bought the Sands Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas in 1988. Three years later, he demolished the casino and replaced it with the Venetian, which opened in 1999. Adelson’s plan for the Venetian was to make it more than just a casino. He wished it to be a place where people went for entertainment, shopping and dining, and hoped to appeal to more people beyond gamblers. Adelson experienced success in business, but his wealth doubled when he ventured into betting, and especially in Macau. In the early 2000s, his company was the first to invest substantially into progressing the gaming business in Macau and later built a casino resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Since then Adelson has expanded his casino business by establishing several casinos in different countries such as the Sands Macao (2004) which increased his personal fortune by over fourteen times and turned out to be the first Las Vegas type of casino. He went further to open the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel (2007) in Cotai and the Marina Bay Sands (2010)which was started after his Las Vegas Sands was granted a permit to build a casino on Singapore’s Marina Bay.