Phil Ruffin: From Humble Beginnings to Billionaire Success

Phil Ruffin 1

Phil Ruffin: From Humble Beginnings to Billionaire


Phil Ruffin is a self-made billionaire and successful entrepreneur in the fields of real estate, hospitality, and gaming. He is the owner of Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and has a net worth of $2.6 billion, according to Forbes.

Early Life and Education

Phil Ruffin was born on March 14, 1935, in Wichita, Kansas. His father was a grocer and his mother helped with the family business. Ruffin attended the University of Kansas but dropped out in his sophomore year to work with his father.

Career and Achievements

Ruffin began his career in the grocery business, but he quickly realized his passion was in real estate. With a $1,500 loan from his father, Ruffin purchased his first apartment building in Wichita. He continued to invest in real estate, eventually acquiring over 60 properties in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

In 1988, Ruffin entered the gaming industry by purchasing his first casino, the Crystal Palace Casino in the Bahamas. He later acquired the New Frontier Casino in Las Vegas, which he owned for over a decade before selling it to Donald Trump for $1.2 billion.

In 2009, Ruffin purchased Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which he continues to operate successfully. He has also invested in other hospitality-related ventures, such as hotels and resorts in the Caribbean and Thailand.

Ruffin’s philanthropic efforts include donations to organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Wichita State University Foundation, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Personal Life

Ruffin is married to Oleksandra Nikolayenko, a former Ukrainian model. The couple has two children together. Ruffin enjoys playing golf and has participated in several celebrity pro-ams.


Name Phil Ruffin
Born March 14, 1935
Country United States
Sector Real Estate, Hospitality, Gaming
Companies Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, Crystal Palace Casino, New Frontier Casino
Net Worth 2.6 billion USD
Forbes URL
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