Forbes: Macau Casino Tycoons Richer Than Ever
Like every year, Forbes has published a list of the 50 richest residents of Hong Kong. The list of Forbes again includes various gambling tycoons from the Macau casino world, including two children of the late gambling magnate Stanley Ho.
This week, the American business magazine Forbes published the Hong Kong’s 50 Richest: the list of the fifty most affluent residents of Hong Kong. Together, Hong Kong’s 50 richest residents are worth $324bn (NZ$ 526bn). This is a slight decrease compared to last year. In 2022, the fifty richest people in Hong Kong were worth $ 328 bn (NZ$ 532bn). Many of the owners of the casinos operated in Macau are based in Hong Kong.
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Lui Che Woo
Lui Che Woo is the first gambling magnate to be found on the list. Lui was listed second by Forbes on last year’s list of the 10 richest gambling tycoons in the world. Lui holds the seventh place on the overall list of 50 richest people in Hong Kong. The 93 years old chairman of the Galaxy Entertainment Group is said to have accumulated a fortune of NZ$ 24,19bn. Last year, his net worth was estimated at NZ$ 20,94 bn.
In the 22nd place of the list we find Pansy Ho, the first heir of the late gambling magnate Stanley Ho. Pansy Ho is a managing director of MGM China Holdings and her net worth is estimated at NZ$ 6,17bn. A year ago, Forbes estimated her net worth at NZ$ 5,52 bn, ranking her 28th on the list. Thanks to the increase in her assets, she has risen six places.
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Angela Leong On Kei
The only gambling magnate on the list to see her net worth drop is Angela Leong On Kei. Angela Leong On Kei was the fourth wife of the late Stanley Ho who passed away in 2020 at the age of 98 years. Angela Leong On Kei , the co-chairman of SJM Holdings Ltd. is now estimated at NZ$ 4,38 bn compared to $ 4,71 bn last year. Leong is now listed as 32nd on the list of the most affluent residents of Hong Kong.
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Lawrence Ho, Pansy Ho’s brother, is also found on the list. With a net worth of NZ$ 2,27 bn, he was ranked at the 46th position on the list, the same position as last year. Lawrence Ho is the CEO of Melco Resorts and Entertainment, which operates the gigantic Studio City Resort in Macau. Lawrence Ho’s net worth slightly increased compared to last year. Her worth was then estimated at a total of $ 2,03 bn.
Impact Pandemic Less Severe Than Expected
A year ago, Forbes stated that the corona crisis would have a possible impact on the wealth of the gambling tycoons as Macau was one of the first regions to be hit by stringent corona measures. The travel restrictions to and in Macau had a major impact on the revenues of the various casinos. In 2021, the revenue of the casinos was estimated at $ 17,53 bn, compared to NZ$ 59,24 bn in 2019 before the pandemic. Despite the negative impact of the corona pandemic on Macau’s economy, the total worth of all the casino tycoons is one the rise again. Pansy Ho’s net worth was set at US$ 4,3 bn in June 2021, more than half a billion American dollars higher than it is now.
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About Gambling in Macau
Gambling in the special administrative region of China, Macau, has been legal since the 1850s when the Portuguese government legalised the activity in the then autonomous colony. Gambling has been officially illegal in the mainland of China since 1949 which contributed to the popularity of gambling in Macau. Formerly part of Portugal, Macau was transferred to China in 1999 and became a special administrative region. After the transition, there were no changes to the gambling policy in Macau. In 2002, the Macau government ended the monopoly system and started issuing licences to other operators as well, including international businesses. Gambling tourism is Macau’s biggest source of revenue, making up about 50% of the local economy. Visitors are mostly from mainland China and Hong Kong. With the market entry of large foreign casino operators from Las Vegas and Australia, Macau overtook Las Vegas in gambling revenues in 2007. Macau is now globally known as the “Gambling Capital of the world”.
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