Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire founder of  Las Vegas Sands Corp has been diagnosed with cancer and is away from the office for the past three months. 

Las Vegas Sands is the world’s largest casino.

Revealing this, company spokesman Ron Reese said the 85-year-old billionaire is facing side effects of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma medication.  Adelson is also afflicted by peripheral neuropathy, a disorder that constrains walking.

“These side effects have restricted his availability to travel or keep regular office hours,” Reese was quoted by Bloomberg.

Adelson’s absence at the company’s earnings calls, on Jan. 23 had brought media glare into his health condition.  At the investor call, Sands President Robert Goldstein excused Adelson’s absence as drowsiness borne by medications.

However, the company expects Adelson to resume his regular schedule when the treatment gets over. Reese said health problems have not prevented Adelson from discharging his duties as chairman and CEO. Adelson is worth $33.9 billion, according to the data in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In the casino industry, Adelson is equally famous as Casino magnate Steve Wynn who also built many landmark casinos including the Wynn Las Vegas.  

Trump’s political donor

Adelson is also known for his liberal political donations.  The billionaire contributed $30 million to President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.  He donated another $100 million to the Republican Party for the 2018 midterm elections.

Adelson rose to the riches from a humble origin. His father was a Boston cab driver. Adelson’s casino enterprise had a special focus on the convention business. He is credited with building some of the most successful gaming resorts in Asia.

In Las Vegas Sands, Adelson holds maximum shares. Wife Miriam and trusts linked with the children own rest of the 55 percent shares. Son-in-law, Patrick Dumont is the chief financial officer of the company.

Court offers exemption from personal appearance

The case related to a lawsuit by Richard Suen, who was a consultant for Adelson’s company in securing a license to run casinos in China’s Macau.

Suen wanted compensation for the services in opening a business in the Chinese gambling enclave. But Adelson rejects Suen’s claim saying that he has not procured any crucial approval to warrant any payment.

Attorneys for Suen had been pressing for Adelson’s personal testimony. Considering the billionaire’s health problems, the judge offered a medical exemption if Adelson’s doctor produces evidence that the executive was ill.