Macau pioneer Stanley Ho dies age 98

Stanley Ho, the man credited with transforming Macau into the world’s gambling hub, has died at the age of 98.

Known as the ‘king of gambling’, Ho became a prominent figure in the Macanese gambling market after winning a monopoly licence in 1961, establishing the foundations for his SJM Holdings casino empire.

“My father 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.”

Following the end of Portuguese rule, gaming licences were handed to Ho’s company SJM Holdings, alongside Galaxy Entertainment Group, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, MGM China Holdings, Sands China and Wynn Macau. SJM Holdings now controls 20 of Macau’s 38 casinos.

But despite earning his wealth through the gambling industry, Ho admitted that he did not partake in betting activities at all.

“I don’t gamble at all. I don’t have the patience,” Ho told The Associated Press in a rare interview in 2001. “Don’t expect to make money in gambling. It’s a house game. It’s for the house.”

Outside of the gambling sphere, Ho’s privately held company, Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, or STDM, has made investments into the Macau Jockey Club as well as luxury hotels, ferries and helicopters.

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