Hong Kong's 'king of gambling' dies aged 98

Hong Kong's 'king of gambling' dies aged 98
  • Stanley Ho is credited with turning Macau into the world's gambling capital
  • His personal fortune was estimated at $6.4bn when he retired in 2018 just months before his 97th birthday.
  • He was the head of one of the world's most lucrative gaming businesses, SJM Holdings, valued at about $6bn (£4.9bn).
  • Ironically the flamboyant billionaire, who loved to dance, famously always advised friends and family to shun gambling.

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My father has passed away peacefully just now at around 1 pm at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital," Ho's daughter Pansy told reporters.

As Stanley Ho's family member, we are really sad to inform you of this, she added.

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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.

It's impossible to overestimate the influence Stanley Ho had in Macau and Hong Kong. He had a say in choosing the leadership of both territories, and China's state media has mourned him today as "a patriotic entrepreneur".

The "King of Gambling" has now passed, but many in the business world will still seek his wisdom from the poker table as they chase their own success.