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Gambling Tycoon Stanley Ho Retires

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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

Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Bryke launches Link King in Spain

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Bryke, the video slots brand of Zitro, the famous  Luxemburg-based gaming company, has launched its highly successful flagship product in Spain: Link King, a unique and innovative type of game that is not like any other games available in Spain.

Link King offers impressive new features: 4 spectacular levels of progressive jackpots that are frequently granted through the bonus game, increasing the chances of winning. In addition, prizes are linked between terminals, raising their value and the player’s excitement. Spanish players can enjoy a different way of playing never before seen in Spain and already present in the best casinos in the world.

The staging of LINK KING is impressive thanks to the new FUSION cabinet that stands out due to its advanced technology and “Ultra Slim” design, occupying less space than any other piece on the market and offering the player greater comfort.

The combination of LINK KING and FUSION will transform Spanish lounges into a game show that will appeal to both the operator and player, just like what’s happening in international markets.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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RTG launched a new game, called I, Zombie

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RTG Asia, the Philippines-based gaming company, has launched a new game called I, Zombie, which is a five-reel, 25 line game. It features Amy, a gorgeous zombie killer.

“The zombie epidemic continues, but now it’s taken a personal toll: Nancy has turned! Her beautiful blue eyes have gone red, her carefully manicured nails have grown into claw-like things. She might be the WORST kind of zombie — still so sexy, so attractive, so deadly. You have to see her! And, as in life, so WILD. And she is your WILD too. You may even see two more her appear and they’ll jump across the reels… not to kill you but to help you win more,” – commented RTG Asia.

“Maybe if she could see herself in the mirror she could change back… would that help? Could that help? It’ll certainly help YOU: when you get three mirrors – the game’s scatter – you get free spins. Get four mirrors and your free spin prize doubles. Five mirrors, it trebles,” it concludes.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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William Hill US seeks modifications in regulations

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William Hill US has written a letter to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) seeking modifications in current regulations so as to eliminate some technical glitches. This is after FanDuel paid out on an erroneous ticket that allowed the ticket holder to win US$82k in New Jersey.

It is learnt that William Hill US mainly asked the power for the Chair to use discretion in rescinding bets where an obvious error had occurred, such as wrong pricing. “This would address the situation that occurred recently in New Jersey where an operator issued a wager on a football game at a price that was obviously incorrect,” reads the letter.

Sylvia Tiscareno, general counsel of William Hill, testified during NGCB’s meeting this week and said that the request comes after several internal discussions. The panel at the meeting decided to consider the testimony before making a decision.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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