Forerunner of T

he gaming tycoon has passed away at the age of 98, on May 26th after almost single-handedly changing the business face, and even the geographic landscape, of the SAR both before and after the city, was handed over to Chinese

administration in 1999. “Stanley Ho was an extraordinary businessman. He

arrived in Macau in 1941 at age 19, to escape the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, and became rich quickly. He was extremely good at seeing and seizing profitable business opportunities,” University of Macau gaming law expert researcher, Jorge Godinho, told Macau News Agency (MNA).

“During the 1950s he was engaged in transhipment to China and tried unsuccessfully to obtain the gold trade concession, which was more lucrative than gaming at the time. This shows his ambition. So when the Fantan concession was reformed to cover all games of chance, and re-tendered in 1961 for the first time in 20 years, by Governor Silvério Marques, he did not miss the opportunity”.

“With 10 dollars in my pocket, I became a millionaire in one year”

That year, Stanley Ho, together with businessman Henry

Fok, Teddy Yip and Yip Hon founded Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM) and in 1962 managed to win the gaming exploration monopoly previously held for almost 25 years by Tai Heng, a company headed by the also legendary businessman Fu Tak Iam. The change in concessions was no easy feat, according to Godinho, with Stanley Ho managing to convince the Portuguese administration by offering to develop a ferry route between Macau and Hong Kong, promising to develop infrastructure for the city and provide subsidies for charitable actions.

24 JULY 2020

Post-World War II Macau would have surely been different without him. Stanley Ho shaped the city in many ways: as patriarch and forerunner of Macau’s modern gaming industry, as a philanthropist and as a contributor to nearly all major infrastructure projects in the city

erunner of modern Macau

modern Macau Lisboa and beyond

“In 1970 the Hotel-Casino Lisboa opened and, as they say, the rest is history. The Macau Government always had in Stanley Ho and STDM and SJM a concessionaire that responded to all the challenges it faced. Stanley Ho was at the center of the transformation of Macau into a modern and very developed city,” Godinho added. Meanwhile, Professor Ricardo Chi Sen Siu, Associate

Professor at the University of Macau Faculty of Business Administration, told MNA that to him Ho is “unarguably a forerunner” not only of the modern development of the Macau gaming industry but also of Macau as a whole. “His long-vision and entrepreneurship from the

development of the Hotel Lisboa and the incorporation of Shun Tak Shipping Co. in the 1970s to the numerous social and economic contributions for the modern development of Macau in the last few decades are definitely a priceless treasure to the Macau community. Without his efforts at the outset, we may not have seen the prosperity of Macau today,” the gaming expert added “Last but not least, I trust that his philosophy of life and

business ‘from the people, for the people’ should be crowned and further diffused to the world community in this age full of uncertainty”

“Unwavering paternal care”

Meanwhile, gaming consultant Niall Murray, who previously worked as a Strategic Consultant and Director of Operations Development for multiple SJM properties, expressed to MNA that Ho’s passing is a “tremendous loss not only to his wonderful family but to Macau and to the world”. “I had the honour of working for SJM under Dr. Stanley

Ho’s leadership from 2006 to 2012. During that time Dr. Ho began to step back from day to day issues, yet, his presence was clearly felt, with his firm grip on the organisation, and his strong and decisive leadership touching every part of the organisation,” Murray stated. “Ho had the remarkable ability to keep all key stakeholders within his vast business empire in-sync, moving forward and

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