Blood is supposed to be thicker than water, or that is what Stanley Ho must be hoping, after the gambling magnate finally retired as chairman and executive director of SJM Holdings this month, almost six decades after he set Macau on its path to casino riches in the 1960s.
Now 96 and suffering from poor health for nearly a decade, Ho has 17 children by four ‘consorts’, which means that SJM will remain very much a family affair.
Daisy Ho, his daughter by second consort Lucina Laam, has been appointed as chairman, with Angela Leong, his fourth consort and the mother to his youngest children, also taking a co-chairman role. Ina Chan, Ho’s third consort and mother to three more of his kids, will serve as an executive director too.
Lawrence Ho and Pansy Ho – children of Lucina Laam – have established rival casinos in Macau in their own right.
Seven years ago there was speculation that Ho’s second consort had allied with his third to take control of most of his assets, although the family denied the reports of a power grab. Analysts still wonder whether the plan for the next generation of leadership might implode in family feuding, however. The stakes are high: SJM’s current casino licence in Macau is set to expire in 2020, shortly after the opening of its newest resort, the $4.6-billion Grand Lisboa Palace.
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