Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO, Sheldon Adelson, and his wife have donated US$75 million to a new super political action committee (PAC) backing US President Donald Trump’s re-election making the couple the highest donors in the Republican campaign efforts, US media outlets have reported.
The also Sands China Chairman and CEO has been a long-time Republican and Trump donor and according to reports citing mandatory disclosure with the Federal Election Commission, has already pledged more than US$75 million to Preserve America, a new super PAC launched in August and committed to re-electing the US President and attacking Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
A super PAC is a US political action committee entity which may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals but is not permitted to contribute to or coordinate directly with parties or candidates.
The increase in fundraising by Republican donors was seen by strategists consulted by the report as a last-ditch approach to counter Biden’s lead in the polls and record-breaking fundraising, with the former vice president and the Democratic National Committee bringing in US$364.5 million last month.
Trump’s campaign and America First Action collectively spent over US$247 million on TV and Facebook advertising between April and August, according to data collected by the ad-tracking firm Kantar/CMAG and cited by AP.
According to Bloomberg, the Adelsons were also among the top donors to Trump in 2016, writing checks for US$20 million in the campaign and pitching in an additional US$5 million for the inaugural festivities.
They have also previously given US$50 million this cycle to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super-PAC with ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that supports GOP Senate candidates.
The Jewish businessman has for long justified his backing of Trump by his desire to influence US policy to help Israel, with the US administration in the last four years moving with several policies in this direction, such as scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, brokering the opening of official relations between the UAE and Israel, and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Investigative new platform Politico also reported that during a state visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the US in 2017, Trump addressed that he should strongly consider Las Vegas Sands for a license.
The gaming operator this year announced that it would end its pursuits for an integrated resort license in Japan, and focus on expanding its existing resorts in Macau and Singapore, where it is spending US$5.5 billion to renovate various properties.
China-US political tensions have raised considerably during the Trump administration, resulting in a prolonged trade dispute and repeated tit-for-tat political and diplomatic sanctions surrounding Hong Kong following the enforcement this year of new national security legislation in the neighbouring SAR.
In the past four years, President Trump broke with decades of policy that broadly fostered closer ties between the two global powers, with his administration labelling China as a growing and often a dishonest competitor, imposing tariffs on two-thirds of Chinese imports, moved to curb Chinese investments in the U.S. and pressuring allies to shun Chinese technology.
With a new public tender for gaming concessions and sub-concessions schedule for 2022 some gaming analysts have argued US-based gaming operators – Sands China, Wynn Macau and MGM China – could suffer retributions if the Central Government looks to respond to US sanctions by hitting American business interests in the region.