freemexy: Daughter inherits gambling empire with death of Stanley Ho
Daughter inherits gambling empire with death of Stanley Ho
About an hour after the death of Stanley Ho, the billionaire who built the Chinese territory of Macao into the world’s biggest gambling hub, his large clan gathered in front of the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital to break the news. They were also there to send a clear message of unity.To get more news about stanley ho children, you can visit shine news official website.
The 98-year-old tycoon fathered 16 recognized children with four women he considered wives. Outside the hospital in front of cameras and journalists, it was Pansy Ho — the 57-year-old eldest daughter of his second wife — who was given the honor of announcing his passing as they flanked her.
Ho, a former socialite, is already chairman of one of Macao’s biggest conglomerates and co-chairman of casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd., having become her father’s favored successor years ago.
With the death of the trailblazer who catapulted Macao past Las Vegas to become the world’s gambling epicenter, the pressure is now on her to unite the interests behind the Ho family’s $15 billion fortune, rejuvenate an aging casino franchise and lead the empire through the coronavirus pandemic that’s caused gambling revenue to plunge by more than 90 percent.
And with a fractious family held in check only by a delicate balance of power, Ho will need to chart a careful path forward.
“While Stanley was alive, things were in limbo — it would have been disrespectful for someone to take the helm,” said Ben Lee, Macao-based managing partner at gaming consultancy IGamiX. “Now that he has gone, what we’ll ultimately see is one person leading a reincarnated Ho empire. This paves the way for Pansy.”
A significant new alliance created last year gave Pansy Ho and her allies control over the family’s core casino franchise, SJM Holdings Ltd. None of the other children or three surviving wives have publicly contested the agreement, though investors and analysts remain wary of internal tensions.
With her father’s passing, Pansy Ho is now expected to consolidate control over a complicated network of business interests, which include 20 casinos under SJM’s umbrella, the Chinese arm of American casino operator MGM Resorts International, and even the ferry and helicopter routes that link Macao and Hong Kong.
That would be a challenge in boom times. But Macao is now in the midst of a historic free-fall due to the pandemic, with basically empty casinos losing more than $1 million a day.
Gaming revenue plummeted by a record 97 percent last month compared with the same period a year ago, and a recovery is unlikely as long as virus containment measures prevent Chinese travelers — the enclave’s lifeblood — from entering the territory.With the outbreak seemingly curbed in mainland China, Macao and Hong Kong, analysts are hoping that border and visa restrictions will be eased starting next month, followed by a summer recovery.
But with casinos now desperate to regain lost ground, competition will be fiercer than ever, and SJM had already been losing market share to more dynamic operators before the pandemic.
The industry will try to relaunch in a slow reopening that may start with a “travel bubble” of tourists allowed to come from neighboring Hong Kong and China’s Guangdong province, said Glenn McCartney, a professor at the University of Macao’s Faculty of Business Administration.
SJM’s complex division of power — holdings are split between three branches of the family, including Pansy’s — has made it slower-moving than rivals and it’s steadily lost market share. It was the last among Macao’s six operators to build a casino on the territory’s swanky Cotai strip and has had to delay the opening of that new project, the $5 billion Grand Lisboa Palace, to March next year from end-2020.
Internal maneuvering is also a constant distraction. Angela Leong, Ho’s fourth and latest wife who’s seen as a competitor to Pansy, holds an 8 percent stake in the holding company that controls SJM, a possible future flash-point.