Casino Mogul Places Big Bet On Newt

Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson just placed another $5 million bet on Newt Gingrich to win the Republican presidential nomination, and there's more to come.

Adelson, one of the world's richest Jews, has contributed $5 million to Winning Our Future, the super PAC run by Gingrich's friends and promoting his candidacy, the Washington Post reported, adding that Adelson is expected to pony up at least $5 million more for backers of Gingrich or whoever eventually wins the Republican nomination.

Adelson, 78, is a major contributor to Jewish and conservative political causes both here and in Israel. Forbes puts his net worth at $21.5 billion, making him the 8th wealthiest American and the 16th wealthiest person in the world.

He is also a longtime backer of Benjamin Netanyahu, and the publisher of the free daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which reflects his own pro-Likud views and is particularly supportive of the prime minister.  Netanyahu and Gingrich have been friends since the 1990s when they collaborated to block the peace policies of Yitzhak Rabin and Bill Clinton, a mission shared by Adelson.

Adelson is an outspoken opponent of the two-state solution, which he considers "a stepping stone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people," he told New York Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt.

According to published reports, he has already contributed $7 million to various Gingrich enterprises and campaigns, including the former Speaker's American Solutions Winning the Future, which shut down last summer as Gingrich shifted to his presidential campaign mode.

Politico said last month that Adelson has discussed backing Gingrich's campaign to the tune of $20 million, but the billionaire said that report was premature. “I’ve made no commitment to anybody. Now, doesn’t mean I won’t in the future, but up ‘til now, no commitment has been made and no amount has been stated,” he said.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.