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When it comes to gambling in Asia, no entrepreneurs have made a bigger impact than Stanley Ho. Affectionately crowned the “King of Gambling”, Ho is responsible for turning Macau into a gambling oasis. This was no easy feat since this transformation took multiple decades to come to fruition. Thanks to his sacrifices and shrewd investments, Ho created a gambling hub that’s so successful it borders on legendary. Macau has surpassed Las Vegas in revenue, making it a destination that can’t be ignored by any respectable punter.
Rising from obscurity to stealing the global spotlight is an epic feat since it defies all odds. The fact that this transformation was the result of one man, which is more than impressive. For this reason, we decided to highlight Stanley Ho’s prestigious career in this article. There’s a lot to learn from his story since nothing was there with him. Through hard work and strategic networking, this man became the epitome of success. Everyone has the potential to make a transformation, so prepare to be inspired by this story!
Born in 1921, Stanley Ho’s life has been greatly influenced by groundbreaking historical events. He was the ninth of thirteen children, growing up in British controlled Hong Kong. Studying wasn’t his strongpoint, which ended up putting him at the bottom of Hong Kong’s class system. Seeing that studying arduously was his only way out, Ho changed his ways and ended up receiving a scholarship. This was great news for Ho, but the outbreak of WWII cut his academic career short.
He ended up fleeing the Japanese in 1942, settling in Macau. From there he got a job at an import-export firm. The pay was average, but he soon discovered a way to increase his salary. During WWII, Ho made his first fortune smuggling luxury items across the Chinese border from Macau. He used this money to found a kerosene and construction company.
His shrewd investment prowess didn’t go unnoticed, and he formed an extremely powerful partnership. Ho teamed up with Hong Kong tycoon Henry Folk, brother-in-law Teddy Yip and Macau gambler Yip Hon for a fateful bid. By promising to promote tourism and develop the city’s infrastructure, they won public tender for Macau’s gaming monopoly. This was a groundbreaking development, since it wrestled control from Macau’s long-time casino baron family, the Fu’s.
This proved to be a decisive moment for Ho, since it cemented his legacy as a top tier businessman. He maintained this monopoly of Macau’s gambling industry for 40 years. Even when foreign companies were allowed to participate, Ho maintained control through a series of investments. He currently owns 19 casinos in Macau, but his influence is felt in a slew of companies. Ho is involved in entertainment, shipping, real estate, banking, air transportation and tourism. This wide variety of enterprises employs one fourth of Macau’s workforce.
He may be the king of Macau, but his family is far from retiring. Ho made strategic investments in a slew of other countries. He has companies in mainland China, North Korea, Portugal, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Mozambique. These investments have accrued billions for his family, since his wives and many children are active in the companies. Now that he is 95, Ho is slowly giving control to his family. They have proven to be equally business savvy as he is, so their empire will undoubtedly continue to grow.
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