One of the most important rules for succeeding in business and building wealth is to select one thing and be really, really good at it. For a select few millionaires and billionaire entrepreneurs, gambling is their niche.
It’s not hard to see how someone with the right amount of business acumen could make a successful career within the gambling industry. After all, a look at the monuments that line the glittering Las Vegas Strip, or even the exclusive casino clubs that grace the Victorian backstreets of Mayfair, is evidenced enough of the fruits of this industry.
But who are the people who have successfully navigated this immensely competitive sector to come out on top?
Dave Lyons and Sal Falciglia
Although certainly not as wealthy as the other entries on this list, the story of Dave Lyons and Sal Falciglia demonstrates the different ways that people are making a success from the development of technology in the casino industry. As the casino industry moves increasingly online, many savvy entrepreneurs are backing the development of cutting-edge technologies to enhance the online gameplay experience.
These lifelong buddies are responsible for the development of a genre of online casino games called Slingo bingo games. This hybrid form combines gameplay elements of both traditional 75-ball bingo with online slots, which may sound far from revolutionary, but has definitely made an impact among audiences. Nowadays, this sub-genre is among the most popular in the online casino landscape with titles such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Rainbow Riches proving to be firm fan-favourites.
The duo thought of the idea back in the 90s and spent years trying to get it off the ground. Their hard work and perseverance paid off when RealNetworks purchased their technology for more than $15 million back in 2013. Today, both still work within the casino software sector, while their Slingo games are enjoyed in dozens of countries around the world.
Probably one of the most well-known faces in the world of gambling, American tycoon Steve Wynn is by far the biggest mover and shaker in Las Vegas. This is somebody for whom gambling was in his blood – his father owned a chain of bingo parlours across the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Wynn moved to Las Vegas back in the 1960s, where he began by taking small stakes in iconic casinos such as the Golden Nugget and the now-defunct New Frontier Casino. He later oversaw the construction of some of the most important institutions in gambling, including The Bellagio and the Mirage, as well as his namesake resort Wynn Las Vegas. Today, he is worth $2.4 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in the gambling industry ever.
Lui Che-Woo is, by some estimates, the richest man in all of Asia. Originally from Hong Kong, Che-Woo struggled for much of his formative life and sold homemade food on the street to make ends meet. However, his fortunes turned around as he entered adulthood at the end of World War II when he launched a business exporting machinery left behind by the Americans in Japan to the rest of Asia.
After decades of success, he took a chance on the then-sleepy backwater of Macau and began his very own casino empire there – Galaxy Resorts. Today, he’s regarded as one of the most successful gambling entrepreneurs in history.
These are just a small handful of entrepreneurs who have amassed wealth through their success in the gambling industry. As this industry continues to grow rapidly and technology advances by the day, expect more people to be added to this list.