China Underground > Entertainment > Stanley Ho, Owner of the Macau Gambling Empire, Dies at 98

Stanley Ho, Owner of the Macau Gambling Empire, Dies at 98

Stanley Ho has died at the age of 98.

He died in hospital after it was publicly known that he was battling health issues in his latter stages of life. The health issues he was experiencing were reported to be exacerbated by a fall that took place in 2009 inside his home in Hong Kong. Mr Ho was one of the wealthiest men inside the gambling industry and arguably the figure that made Macau challenge Las Vegas as the mecca of the gambling world.

So, Who Was Stanley Ho?

Stanley Ho was a Macau-Hong Kong wealthy businessman with a reported wealth in excess of a two billion pounds (GBP). He had Jewish and Dutch ancestry. Some people called him the godfather of the Macau gambling industry because he owned just under 20 of the many casinos in the autonomous state. He also had business ventures in tourism, real estate and entertainment, so much so that it is reported that he employed 25% of all workforces in Macau.

To say Stanley Ho was wealthy, powerful and had incredibly business acumen would be an understatement. But Mr Ho was also known for his charitable work and received an OBE from Britain for his work in Hong Kong.

The Macau Gambling Scene

Some people label Macau as the Las Vegas of Asia. However, others would say this was a slight and Macau is, in fact, better than Las Vegas. The comparisons between the two gambling epicentres has been drawing constant debate for the last decade and will continue in doing so for a long time to come.

One of the beacons of Macau is the Venetian Casino. This casino is exceptional. For one, it is the fifth-largest building in the world, spanning over 10 million square feet. But it is just not the size that impresses about the Venetian. Every inch has been carefully designed, complete with canals and gondolas to imitate Venice Italy, and it includes a wealth of bars, restaurants and entertainment spaces on top of casino gaming.

But Macau is not a one casino wonder. It is also home to plenty of other establishments, including the Wynn Macau which is the only venue to earn eight consecutive five-star reviews from Forbes.

What Will Happen to Ho’s Empire Next?

Ho’s casino empire and many other businesses in Macau are likely to stay in the family and be run by his offspring. Ho was not just busy in the boardroom, after fathering 17 children. Four of his children are in the casino industry as operators of six of his casinos. On top of that, two of his earliest children are executive directors at SJM Holdings Ltd, a company owning multiple casinos in the region.

Some of his sons, including Mario Ho, have expanded into other aspects of gaming, namely e-Sports.

A number of his children are already in prime position to take over the godfather of Macau’s gambling industry – and continuing to compete with Vegas as the best place to gamble in the world.

Image source: pixabay

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