Billionaire casino rivals Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn sitting within seat of each other at CNN debate?

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Billionaire casino rivals Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn appear to be not only planning to attend Tuesday night’s CNN Western Republican presidential debate, but it looks like they will be sitting in the audience within one seat of each other.

On a press tour of the debating area, The Daily Caller spotted seats with Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn’s name taped on them with just one seat, sporting the name of Adelson’s wife Dr. Miriam, separating the two moguls. Wynn and Adelson have had a long and sometimes bitter rivalry while building mega-casinos in both Las Vegas and China’s Macau.

In fact, Forbes included the two on a 2009 list of nasty billionaire business rivalries, noting Adelson had called Wynn “a liar” and “an egomaniac” in the past while Wynn has charged Adelson with having “an inferiority complex.” A June article in the Casino City Times, however, reported that the two seemed to be burying the hatchet, noting kind words each has directed toward the other and each others’ companies in recent months.

The latest edition of Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans ranks Adelson, who owns the Venetian in Las Vegas where tonight’s CNN debate will take place and numerous casinos in Macau, as the eighth richest American with a net worth of $21.5 billion. Wynn, who owns eponymous-named casinos in Las Vegas and Macau and once owned Vegas casinos Bellagio and Mirage, is listed as the 130th richest American with a net worth of $2.8 billion.

Whether comity has truly been established between the two or not, both Adelson and Wynn can find common ground in their mutual disdain for President Obama. Adelson is a famed contributor to Republican and pro-Israel causes, notably backing Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future to the tune of $7 million over the past five years.  Wynn has been an outspoken critic of President Obama, saying in June that “this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime.”

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