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Sheldon Adelson takes a seat prior to the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
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Adelson Backs Out of Deal to Bring the NFL’s Raiders to Las Vegas

Know when to fold ’em

by
Jonathan Zalman
February 01, 2017
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
Sheldon Adelson takes a seat prior to the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
Don King (R) speaks with Sheldon Adelson before the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Don King (R) speaks with Sheldon Adelson before the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Which Republican candidate would Sheldon Adelson support in the presidential race? That was the question on everybody’s minds months ago, when the Christies and Rubios and Fiorinas of the world were still babbling their way into our political hearts. As it turned out, Adelson chose to line Trump’s pockets, giving $25 million to the man’s cause. Adelson’s bet paid off, earning the casino (and media) magnate a plastic aisle seat near other flush donors at Trump’s presidential inauguration. Months earlier, Adelson got to hobnob at a Republican presidential debate with other Trump trumpeters like Don King, although I bet they’d met before—Vegas and all. Point being, Adelson’s millions bought him some perks. He bet big and he won.

But there is one gamble Las Vegas’s richest resident isn’t willing to make: financing the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. At least not anymore.

Adelson had reportedly committed $650 million to the project of bringing one of the NFL’s most storied franchises to Sin City, including the construction of a 65,000-seat spaceship of a stadium that would cost an estimated $1.9 billion. But now he’s backed out, calling out the Raiders (and owner Mark Davis) in a statement. A day later, Goldman Sachs backed out, putting the entire move in jeopardy.

Looks like the Raiders will be staying in the Bay Area, which, if you ask me, has much nicer weather. So does Macao.

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.

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