Macau gambling king dead
International

Macau gambling king dead

S. Sivadas

S. Sivadas

Macau gambling king Stanley Ho, who built a business empire from scratch in the former Portuguese colony and became one of Asia's richest men, died peacefully at the age of 98, his family confirmed on Tuesday.

The flamboyant tycoon, who loved to dance and advised his nearest and dearest to shun gambling, headed one of the world's most lucrative gaming businesses through his flagship firm, SJM Holdings Ltd, valued at about 6 billion dollars.

Dr. Ho oversaw the transformation of once-sleepy Macau into the world's biggest casino centre, outpacing the US's Las Vegas strip, and held a monopoly until 2002 when the enclave licensed five other operators to run casinos.

'In Hong Kong, Dr Ho had been someone who carried a lot of weight, was highly respected and cherished Hong Kong ... (We) hope to follow our father's footsteps and carry on the responsibility of giving back to the society,' his daughter, Ms. Pansy said.

Shares of companies in the family's empire surged on expectations of potential ownership changes involving Dr. Ho's family members.

SJM rose as much as 8.5%, passenger transport firm Shun Tak Holdings Ltd jumped 17.6% and casino operator Melco International Development Ltd climbed 4.9%, outpacing a 2% gain for the benchmark index.

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