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Gambling Tycoon Stanley Ho Retires

Niji Ng

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Stanley Ho. Photo credits: Apple Daily
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Stanley Ho, the legendary gambling tycoon of Hong Kong has retired from his position as chairman and executive director of SJM Holdings. He called it a day of his long career yesterday. The 96-year-old’s career has influenced and even shaped the gambling industry in Hong Kong and Macau.

Although Ho has not been actively involved with SJM these days and his public appearances have become increasingly rarer due to falling health, he is still called  “The King of Gambling” In these parts, especially Macau.

But while Ho’s retirement marks the symbolic end of an era for Macau, for the Ho dynasty it’s the beginning of another chapter, with Daisy Ho stepping into her father’s shoes at the helm of SJM. Ho’s daughter will be facing heavy competition from players like Sheldon Adelson and Lui Che Woo as she seeks to restore SJM’s crown as the top casino operator in Macau.

Rising To The Top

The great-nephew of Sir Robert Hotung, a prominent early 20th-century Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist who held the distinction of being the first Chinese person to live on the city’s prestigious Victoria Peak, Ho is perhaps one of the more enigmatic of Hong Kong’s 20th-century tycoons. Born into affluence and privilege, Ho would experience poverty by the time he was in his teens as the Great Depression of the 1930s decimated his family’s fortunes, before the Japanese invasion forced him to flee his native Hong Kong for Macau in 1941.

Ho made his fortune over the next 20 years as a trader, establishing a reputation as a bold opportunist – a temperament that made him perfect for the casino industry. His decisive roll of the dice came in 1962, when he led a consortium that secured Macau’s sole gaming licence from the government, thus beginning a highly successful 40-year monopoly that lasted until 2002, when the territory opened up its gambling trade to foreign casino operators such as Las Vegas tycoons Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.

As well as a string of casinos – including the Lisboa, which was Macau’s most lavish attraction when it opened in 1970, and the towering Grand Lisboa, which opened in 2007 – Ho’s empire also encompasses Hong Kong-based Shun Tak Holdings, which is involved in shipping, property, hospitality and investments. He stepped down as chairman of Shun Tak in June 2017.

Ho’s Legacy

A keen ballroom dancer, Ho demonstrated an irresistible swagger in both his business and personal life during the latter half of the 20th century. He calls four different women his wives, and fathered at least 17 children, three of whom will now sit at the helm of companies that account for half of Macau’s six gaming licences. While Daisy Ho will follow in her father’s footsteps as chairperson of SJM, Pansy Ho, who succeeded her father as chairperson of Shun Tak Holdings, has an estimated personal fortune of $5.3 billion, according to Forbes. She’s also the co-chairperson and executive director of MGM China Holdings. Lawrence Ho, meanwhile, is chairman and CEO of Melco International, which owns and operates City of Dreams, Studio City and Altira Macau.

Daisy will be taking up the reins of SJM following a tumultuous few years for casino operators in Macau. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption deterred high rollers from the mainland and sent revenues tumbling, although the territory has been on the mend more recently, with the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau announcing year-on-year growth of around 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2018.

Appointed executive director of SJM in June 2017, Daisy has also served as deputy managing director and CFO of Shun Tak Holdings since 1999. Her leadership of SJM will be shared with Angela Leong, her father’s fourth consort, and Timothy Fok, son of Stanley Ho’s former business partner Henry Fok, who have been named co-chairpersons and executive directors. It’s a succession plan that follows a dispute in 2011 when family members engaged in a power struggle over control of Ho’s empire for several months.

As the chairperson of the Hong Kong Ballet, Daisy will no doubt wish to sidestep any further such troubles as SJM prepares to carry on the legacy of the man who made Macau dance to his tune for more than half a century. 

 

Source: Forbes

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Tiger Resort pushes for casino license in Japan

Niji Ng

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Tiger Resort pushes for casino license in Japan
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Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc., the Philippines-based casino operator, is planning to start an office and obtain casino license in Japan.

Its parent company Universal Entertainment Corp. has announced the news on Wednesday through a statement on its website. “[Tiger Resort’s] Japan Branch will be established for research and analysis of the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill of Japan and study of the potential of a casino resort business in Japan in the wake of the enactment of said Bill in July 2018 with a view to becoming a future business contact (such as customer solicitation and marketing activities),” reads the statement.

The tentative date to register the brand was set for today, and the company said that Toji Takeuchi will be the Branch Representative for the company in Japan. The country legalised casinos in late 2016, but is still discussing legislation for integrated resorts.

Tiger Resort Leisure operates the Okada Manila casino in Manila, one of three integrated casino-resorts in the Philippine capital’s version of the Las Vegas gaming strip.

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Indian police cracks illegal gambling ring

Niji Ng

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Photo Source: indiatimes.com
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The police in the Indian capital of Delhi has busted an illegal online gambling ring. The gambling operations were being conducted from a residential building in New Ashok Nagar in east Delhi. The police arrested 14 persons, including the alleged owner and manager of the casino, for running the gambling ring, and 12 persons for participating in the gambling. The main figure behind the operation, who was only identified as “Deepak,” remains at large.

In India, gambling is legally prohibited apart from a few chosen locations, such as Goa. But the police indicated that the gaming endeavour could be tied to a money-laundering scheme as well. They seised a diary containing numerous transactions and customers’ names, 10 computer systems and a small amount of cash.

Pankaj Singh, the police department’s deputy commissioner, said the department had received several tips over the course of a few days prior to the raid. When a tip on Sunday indicated that the games were in progress in the first floor of the three-story building, cops moved in and made their arrests.

Singh was quoted by DNAIndia saying, “Our team raided the flat and found 12 people gambling online. The entire flat had been turned into a makeshift casino parlour and 10 computers with Internet connections had been installed in the house solely for gambling.”

The casino’s alleged owner, Amit Guttan, and his manager, “Neeraj,” were taken into custody along with the 12 gamblers. They were all released on bail after being booked for offenses under the Delhi Public Gambling Act.

The gambling group was reportedly formed through WhatsApp and regular customers recruited additional members. No outside individuals were allowed into the group. After paying an entry fee, the gamblers were provided with the password in order to play games online.

A police officer involved in the case added, “Roulette was the most popular game for these people because the winner was given a return which was 36 times the money they gambled.”

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Riot Games unveils “LoL PARK” new LCK Esports stadium!

Niji Ng

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Riot Games unveils “LoL PARK” new LCK Esports stadium!
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Riot Games, a California-based game developer has unveiled its new League of Legends exclusive stadium called “Lol PARK.” The new facility is located at Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It can host up to 500 people. The most important section of the stadium is a section in the form of a round open booth. Here, players are able to sit and play in the centre whilst the spectators can watch the players live. Due to the audience’s seats being in close proximity with the stage, the audience is able to even see a player’s individual screen. In addition, there is an incredibly large screen located at the top of the stage. This screen offers full picture quality from a multitude of angles, allowing the audience to watch the game without the slightest issue. The screen allows quality entertainment regardless of being at the front or back of the stage.

Also, there is a box specifically made for the coaching staff which is located on the outskirts of the stage. This box is clearly visible to the audience and adds yet another perk to the experience. After a game, the players are provided with a joint coverage area or interview zone in which they can interact in new ways with their fans. In addition, unlike fan meetings in the past when it was rushed and held outdoors, the LoL PARK provides a prepared fan meeting zone inside the facility.

Lee Seung Hyun, the representative of Riot Games Korea, commented, “I only hope that LoL PARK can provide a unique experience to everyday life. Jongno is a place that has a lot of companies and a lot more employees. I’d like this facility to be a place where you look twice and visit when you see it. The League focused stadium is more of an arena style than a studio. I have made sure and prepared this place to be a pleasant space for players. In addition, I did my best to set up various attractions and comfortable facilities for the audience who might visit here.”

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