The King of Gambling: Stanley Ho
Have you ever been curious about who is the king of gambling? His name is Stanley Ho, also known as Ho Hung Sun. His contribution to the Macau casino industry is impossible to ignore. The 94-year-old billionaire is single handedly responsible for building up the gambling industry in Macau. This has led to the rise of Macau as the Asia gambling heaven. 80% of the city’s revenue come from the gambling industry. He is also nicknamed as the “The King of Gambling”. In the year 2011, he was ranked as the 13th richest man in Hong Kong with a net worth of US$2 billion.
At an early age of 13 years old, Ho’s family was broken as a result of the stock market crash. From that time onwards, Ho was determined to take his family out of this disaster. Through hard work, he won a scholarship at the University of Hong Kong and was the first student who was granted a scholarship. Unfortunately, he was unable to continue his studies when the World War II happened. When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, Ho together with his family was force to flee for Macau.
Fortune building from import-export business by the age of 22.
During the World War II, Ho made his fortune by smuggling luxury goods across the Chinese border from Macau. He then used that cash to start a Kerosene business in 1943. The construction industry was experiencing explosive growth at that time. Ho profited greatly from that business.
Rise of Casino Empire
Ho’s partnered with the Hong Kong tycoon the late Hendry Fok, the late Yip Hon (famous Macau gambler), and brother-in-law the late Teddy Yip when he bid for the Macau gaming monopoly. They won the bid by defeating the longtime Macau casino barons, the Fu family. In 1961, the company is renamed to Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, S.A.R.L. (STDM). To build on top of the company success, Ho venture into other branches of business in Macau including hotels, banks, real estate, department stores and high speed ferry service. As of today, Ho’s company runs 18 casinos in Macau and his 19h casino, the Lisboa Palaca, will be open in 2017.
Awards and Accomplishments
Ho won many awards throughout his life. He also became the first living citizen where a road is named after him. The road was named as Avenida Stanley Ho and was running next to Estoril Casino. In 1990, he received Oer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) for the services to the community in Hofficng Kong. Apart from that, Ho also received the Gold Bauhinia Medal in 2010. This is the highest Hong Kong acknowledgement in the award system that is reserved for those making significant contribution to the well-being of Hong Kong.