Friday, April 23

Stanley Ho: Macau casino tycoon dies aged 98

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Stanley Ho, the Hong Kong tycoon credited with turning Macau into the world’s gambling capital, has died at the age of 98.

Ho, one of Asia’s richest men, was known as the “king of gambling”.

He was the head of one of the world’s most lucrative gaming businesses, SJM Holdings, valued at about $6bn (£4.9bn).

But the flamboyant billionaire, who loved to dance, famously always advised friends and family to shun gambling.

Ho dominated the casino business in the former Portuguese colony of Macau after winning a government monopoly license in the 1960s.

As his fortune grew, he expanded beyond Macau, building residential and office buildings in Hong Kong as well as operating casinos in other countries including Portugal and North Korea.

His personal fortune was estimated at $6.4bn when he retired in 2018 just months before his 97th birthday.

SJM Holdings flourished as the opening up of China’s economy created a flood of new wealth in a country with a love of gambling. SJM now controls 20 casinos on Macau.

Ho had four wives and 17 known children. He was forced to restructure his business after a legal battle erupted within the family in 2012 over his fortune.

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