Stanley Ho, "King of Gambling" and founder of SJM Holdings and Shun Tak Holdings

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Macau Billionaire and Casino Tycoon Stanley Ho Died at Age 98

Hong Kong | 26th May 2020

Macau billionaire and casino tycoon Stanley Ho has died at the age of 98 (1921 – 2020), on the 26th May 2020.  Known as the “King of Gambling”, he is one of the most recognisable businessman in Asia building the largest casino, gaming and entertainment empire in Macau and in Asia.  In 2018, he announced his retirement and is estimated then to have a personal net fortune of $6 billion.

“ Macau billionaire and casino tycoon Stanley Ho “ 

The Legacy of Stanley Ho 

Stanley Ho, named after his family’s summer home – Stanley, was born in 1921 in Hong Kong to 1 of 4 wealthiest family in Hong Kong.  His family is Eurasian and his father (Ho Sai Kwong) was the chairman of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.  In the late 1920s, the family business collapsed and he subsequently moved to Macau, the-then neutral Portuguese territory during World War 2 (WW2).

In his 20s, he made his fortune by smuggling luxury goods and essential items during wartime (WW2).  In 1961, he and his business partners won the only gambling license in Macau and began to build his casino empire (Hotel Lisboa and Casino), with the financial support from Hong Kong business tycoon Henry Fok Ying-tung (1923-2006), also known as the “Godfather of real estate”.  

Stanley Ho’s fortune grew in a 40 years monopoly, fuelled by China’s booming economy in the late 1990s.  By the 1990s, his casino empire in Macau accounted for more than 50% of Macau total tax revenue.  In 1999, Macau was returned to China by Portugal, but remained the only Chinese city to have legal licensed casinos.  

In 2002, the Macau government opened the casino business to foreign investors.  Today, SJM (holding company of his casino empire) is one of only 6 licensed operators in Macau.  Some of the other large global players in Macau are Sands China Ltd (1928.HK), Wynn Macau Ltd (1128.HK) and Galaxy Entertainment.

Stanley Ho is one of the most recognisable businessman in Asia and had built the largest casino, gaming and entertainment empire in Macau, and in Asia. He became known as the “King of Gambling”, with a personal fortune estimated at more than $6 billion in 2018.  In 2018, at the age of 97, he officially announced his retirement.

On the 26th May 2020, his family announced his passing at the age of 98 (1921 – 2020).  He has 4 “wives” (his 1st wife had passed away in 2004) and survived by 16 of 17 children.


Dr. Stanley Ho GBM, Medalha de Honra Grande Lótus

Also known as Dr. Stanley Ho, he received honorary doctoral degrees from The University of Hong Kong, University of Macau and various other institutions. He is the only individual to date who received the highest honours of both the Grand Bauhinia Medal and the Medalha de Honra Grande Lótus (Grand Lotus Medal of Honour) bestowed by the Hong Kong and Macau SAR governments respectively.  

Since 1984, Dr. Ho had presided as the President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong, and had held the position of Honorary Life President since 2011.


Stanley Ho’s Business Empire

Today, his business empire are held under 2 groups: SJM Holdings (casino) and Shun Tak Holdings (diversified).  Both companies are publicly listed in Hong Kong Stock Exchange and ran by his children, Daisy Ho (Chairman of SJM Holdings) and Pansy Ho (Chairman of Shun Tak Holdings). 

SJM Holdings is one of 6 licensed operators in Macau, and owns 20 casinos and 4 hotels (Grand Lisboa, Jai Alai, Sofitel Macau, Grand Lisboa Palace).  SJM Holdings is the holding company of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau.  Listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2008, today, it has a market value of HK$50.1 billion ($6.46 billion, 26th May 2020).

Shun Tak Holdings is a diversified investment holding company with interests in property, transportation, hospitality and investments.  It was founded in 1972 and became publicly traded in 1973.  Shun Tak Holdings (HKSE 242) is listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and has a market value of HK$9.43 billion ($1.22 billion, 26th May 2020).


SCMP: Life of Stanley Ho


Bloomberg: Macau Casino Tycoon Stanley Ho Dies at 98


Forbes: Stanley Ho Retires in 2018


WSJ: Billionaire Stanley Ho in War with Family for Control is the leading financial media platform covering capital markets, investments and private wealth in Asia. Driving $25 trillion of assets in Asia.

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