Stanley Ho, the man credited with transforming Macau into the casino capital of the world, has died at the age of 98.
Known as the ‘king of gambling,’ after securing a monopoly licence in 1961, Ho became a leading figure in the Macanese gambling industry, setting the groundwork for his SJM Holdings casino empire.
Ho’s daughter Pansy told reporters: “My father passed away peacefully just now at around 1 pm at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital. As Stanley Ho’s family member, we are really sad to inform you of this.”
After the end of the Portuguese law, gaming licences were handed over to SJM Holdings, Ho’s group, along with Galaxy Entertainment Group, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, MGM China Holdings, Sands China and Wynn Macau. Today, SJM Holdings owns 20 of the 38 casinos in Macau.
Nevertheless, despite gaining his riches through the gambling industry, Ho admitted that he had not engaged in any betting activities.
Ho told The Associated Press in a rare interview in 2001: “I don’t gamble at all. I don’t have the patience. Don’t expect to make money in gambling. It’s a house game. It’s for the house.”
Outside the gambling domain, Ho’s privately owned firm, Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, or STDM, has invested in the Macau Jockey Club, as well as luxury hotels, ferries and helicopters.