Tag Archives: stanley ho

“The god of gamblingului” in Macau: Yin Hon The mentor of worldwide renowned Asian gamblers

-by Oana Mihalache

Even though the casino market in Macau seems to be one that is extremely diversified, as more and more operators announces a new business entering the market, this phenomenon is in fact a very recent one. Until the beginning of the years 2000, the monopoly over the gambling industry was owned by three names that are very popular within the Asian gambling market: Yin Hon, Stanley Ho and Henry Fok, a renowned tycoon from Hong Kong.

A businessman, a professional gambler and even more than that, considered a real mentor for Stanley Ho – these are the words that can describe Yin Hon in a brief way. In the 60s he helped found, together with a few business partners – afaceri – Teddy Yin, Stanley Ho and Henry Fok – the company of Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM), which soon came to own the monopoly over the gambling industry in Macau. Starting with the 1934, this monopoly was owned by the Tai Hing company. As soon as Yin Hon took over the lead in the gambling field of Macau, the Asian continent began to rival the biggest centers dedicated to this area. In 1963, the company run by Yin and his partners managed to open its first casino – Macau Palace, which appears in the James Bond series The Man with a Golden Gun. Unfortunately, this casino was closed in 2007.

The man of innovations on the Macau gambling market

After only two decades since the founding of STDM, Yin Ho left his business partners and started his own entrepreneurial dventurea – he got a license for operating Harness Racing. Initially this business proved to be a failure and after only a few years Hon was forced to retire. Meanwhile, the same STDM company took over this business and in 2012 Harness Racing brought a profit of no less than 21 million euros, so we can say that Yin Hon was behind this novelty that entered the Macau gambling industry. Even if in 2002 the government in Macau issued licenses for other gambling operators as well, thus broking the monopoly held by STDM, nearly half of the casinos operating in Macau are owned by Stanley Ho.

Before this huge brand-name for the gambling field in the region, Stanley Ho, it was Yin Hon that launched the destination of Macau as a landmark for the Asian gambling market. The most concludent proof for this is the fact that he helped laid the foundation not only for the most well-known company on the market, but also for one of the most renowned casinos in Macau – Casino Lisboa. The building and hotel tower of 12 floors were built in 1970 by the four tycoons that opened STDM previously.

 

 

Why is the name of Yin Hon a landmark for Macau gambling?

First of all, he was the one who initiated Stanley Ho, his good friend, in the gambling industry. Secondly, the STDM company, that he founded together with his partnes, played a crucial role in attracting players towards this part of China. Also, he brought an important contribution for facilitating access on the peninsula – he made great investments in airline companies. As for the gambling part, the company was wise in adjusting its offer – in the 70s they launched western-type slots, and a decade later they brought Pachinko games on the market, the most popular game in Japan.  After these novelties on the market, in the 1990s the tourists from Thailand, Korea and India were already familiar with the potential of the administrative area of Macau and shortly after, the popularity of this area exploded, and it now attracts tourists from around the world.

When disciples honor their mentors

Stanley Ho was basically launched into his career by Yin Hon, did not forgot about the one who represented a launching pad for him. In 1997, when the latter died, Ho held a speech during which he commemorated all the moments they went through together in the gambling industry of the (then) Portuguese enclave of the 1960s. Yin Hon died after a heart attack, which occurred when he was reading an article about horseracing – one of his lifetime passions. He left behind five children, but the heritage for the Asian gambling culture and even for the world of gambling cannot be quantified – the brand of Stanley Ho, building Macau as a gambling landmark, Casino Lisboa and the list does not end here.

Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho set to retire

After more than four decades serving on the board of Shun Tak Holdings Limited, Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho is reportedly stepping down as the firm’s Chairman and is to hand the reins for the giant conglomerate to his daughter, Pansy Ho. According to a report from the Reuters news service, 95-year-old Ho is set to assume the title of Chairman Emeritus for Shun Tak Holdings Limited, which has interests in property, shipping, and investment businesses while additionally owning Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Limited.

The elder Ho has reportedly served on the board of Shun Tak Holdings Limited for 44 years but began decentralizing his vast business empire, which encompasses interests in China, Portugal, North Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Mozambique, Indonesia and East Timor, after suffering a stroke in 2009. He has had four wives and 16 children and is one of Asia’s richest men with an estimated personal fortune of approximately $2 billion. For her part, 54-year-old Pansy Ho was appointed as Managing Director of Shun Tak Holdings Limited in 1999 before subsequently being named as its Executive Chairman. Her younger sisters moreover hold positions at the Hong Kong-listed firm with Daisy serving as Deputy Managing Director while Maisy works as Executive Director.

Reuters reported that the younger Ho’s elevation will be subject to shareholder assent at the firm’s next annual general meeting while she is to receive an annual salary of $6,411 for being a director of Shun Tak Holdings Limited along with an additional $7,693 for her role with SJM Holdings Limited while also taking home $102,945 as well as a discretionary bonus every year under her employment contract with the conglomerate. One of only six concessionaires authorized to operate casino games in Macau, SJM Holdings Limited is responsible for 19 gambling properties in the former Portuguese enclave including Casino Oceanus at Jai Alai, Grand Lisboa Macau, Babylon Casino, L’Arc Macau and Casino Golden Dragon while some of its licenses have been sub-let to firms including MGM China Holdings Limited for its MGM Macau venue.

Sursa: worldcasinodirectory.com

Vladivostok, DAVAI GAMBLING! (2) The road of investments made by the industry’s tycoons

-by Oana Mihalache

 

Vladivostok is the new angel among the emerging gambling destinations of the world, as Asian investors have landed in Far East Russia and seem to be turning it into the new Macau of the region. The project has only just begun and we can expect to see the city rising and surpassing its competitors in the region. As a follow up of the previous article, Casino Inside will introduce you to the business side of the story while presenting a detailed situation of the investments that are made in Vladivostok.

The Russian city that is sometimes described as a “gambling oasis” is located in the Primorye region and has so far attracted wealthy foreign investors who explore the potential that this place is offering. The Russian government took the decision to turn this area into an gambling attraction six years ago, back in 2009, but only recently Asian investors, and not only, turned their attention towards the Primorye region. Now, investments are expected to reach $2.2 billion. The region is expected to become the new rising star for Russian and Asian tourists, as it’s located only a few hours’ flight from Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing. Even if Vladivostok was initially known for fish processing and heavy industry, it is now one of four areas included by the Russian government in an Entertainment Zone where legal casino gaming would be legal.

Vladivostok, a gold mine for investors

The first big-name participant in the Vladivostok casino market was Lawrence Ho, the son of Hong Kong billionaire Macau casino giant Stanley Ho. Two years ago he announced that his two companies would invest $630 million in the Primorye region, near China’s border. Huge investments also came from the United States, as the big company Global Gaming Asset Management announced in 2013 it would heavily invest in Russia’s Far East. One of the main reasons why big investors chose this area are low taxes (from 3% to 7%) compared to Macau for example (40%) and its proximity to China. Moreover, Macau is the only area in China where gambling is legal, so it’s the only attraction in a country with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants.

Now there are two casinos in the Primorye region and 165 table games are in operation, to which we can add the 1,300 slot machines. The largest casino in the region is Tiger de Cristal, which hosts 800 gaming machines and 65 table games.

The Gambling tycoons that head towards Russia

One of the giants of the gambling industry, The First Gambling Company of the East, announced that its four-story hotel and casino will be open to the public in May 2015, according to the company’s CEO John Wang. “Given the favorable location of Vladivostok, we are sure that [the gaming zone] can become a second Macau”, he stated, as cited by The Moscow Times. Other big names on the list are the Cambodia based company NagaCorp, Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development and many others, who already signed agreements worth $1.4 billion with the regional government. Moreover, two other deals worth $799 million will be signed with local companies such as Royal Time Group and The First Gambling Company of the East.

In the end, the Primorye gambling zone is expected to contain no less than 16 casino complexes on a territory covering 620 hectares. On top of that, the region will also boast a yacht club, ski trails, and exhibition centers, beaches and many more, according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

The project developed by the Cambodian investor NagaCorp, known as Primorsky Entertainment Resort City (PERC), attracted an investment of $350 million so far. The whole complex is expected to be operational in 2018 and it will be sited on an area with dual frontage and majestic views to the sea and an inland lake flanked by two hills. This is the company’s first investment outside Cambodia. According to the investors, the area will include 1,000 hotel suites (each suite measuring 120 square meters), 100 gaming tables, 500 gaming machines, a 2,000 seat theater and many outlets for entertainment, food and beverage. NagaCorp estimated, in a public announcement, that the future community of the PERC will have no less than 20,000 people.

Another company that has major investments in the area, Melco International Development, owned by Macau businessman Lawrence Ho, has a signed agreement of $700 million for a separate casino resort, following an agreement with the Maritime Territory Administration. The tourism zone developed by the Asian tycoon will include hotels, retail, an amusement park and golf course. Moreover, Ho promised to turn Vladivostok in a capital of entertainment, due to its geographic location. The Promorye intergrated entertainment zone is now situated a few kilometers away from Vladivostok, at Muravyinaya Bay.

The entertainment zone will include casinos, four five-star, seven four-star and four three-star hotels, 12 guest houses, a yacht club, a trade and exhibition center and other recreation facilities. The project will consist of three phases, the first one due to be completed in 2016, the second one in 2019 and finally, the last stage will be ready in 2022. The big investor of this project is The First Gambling Company of the East, which will invest a total of $130 in the first phase of the project, of which Lawrence Ho’s Melco International holds 51%, meaning $66.3 million. The first investment consisted in a casino and a 110-room hotel, two facilities that were inaugurated in 2014.

Many other investors are expected to come in the region, as the potential of the area shows that any invested sum of money is worth its value. More than 310 million people from northern China, Japan and South Korea, where casinos are banned, live within a three-hour flight of the Vladivostok’s future gambling paradise. Experts estimate that the revenue was initially $1.2 billion a year and within a few years is expected to reach $5.2 billion.

Versace to build Hotel in Macau

Famed Italian fashion house Versace said on Tuesday that it had signed a deal with Macau’s largest casino operator SJM to design their new hotel as part of the latest gambling resort to be built on the Cotai strip.

SJM Holdings is controlled by Macau legend Dr Stanley Ho, who has come under pressure over recent years with foreign casino operators entering the once monopolised gaming sector in Macau by SJM.

In a joint statement with local casinos operator SJM Holdings Ltd, Versace said the five-star Palazzo Versace hotel will be built on the Cotai strip.

The new resort, which will not open before 2015, will have some 700 gaming tables and 2000 hotel rooms.

The hotel in Macau will be Versace’s first entry into Asia’s gambling hub, however Versace does have three other hotels in Australia and one other in Dubai which is scheduled to open in 2014.

 

Portugal: the Land of Extremes for Gambling

Text by Oana Mihalache

Portugal is located in the Southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula, the country being named after its second largest city, Porto, whose Latin name was Portus Cale. Even though it lost the popularity held in the 15th and 16th century, when the country established the first global empire, Portugal is now known as a developed country. As a proof, it’s the world’s 19th highest quality-of-life, and one of the most globalized and peaceful nations, a member of the European Union , the United Nations, a founding member of the Latin Union, member of the eurozone, NATO and the Schengen Agreement.

A Prosperous Land for Gambling

There are many legal forms of gambling in Portugal, including casinos and the lottery. The state has the right to operate games of chance, which they may organize themselves or pass on the rights to a private company. The state has also the right to authorize games which offer non-monetary prizes. Sports betting and the state lottery are considered social games, and their profits go directly to the state.

For games that should be regarded as free activities, harsh conditions are imposed. For example, games such as bingo, horse racing and casinos are only allowed to operate through a contract for a period that can be extended to 30 years. Stipulations include restrictions regarding the region in which the game can be promoted. Operators are not allowed to accept wagers from social categories that deemed unable to make reasonable decisions, including minors and those with a reduced mental capacity.

The Games Empire – under the Rule of Law

The rule of law has a very tentacular spreading over the gaming industry in Portugal, and the activities are strictly organized. One example is the fact that machine gambling outside of casinos is forbidden by law.

It is also illegal to advertise casino gambling services throughout Portugal. It is also prohibited to sale tickets for foreign lotteries or to advertise for them, since this could affect the financial benefits brought to the state by the national lottery.

Portuguese Lottery

The Portuguese National Lottery lottery was initially founded, in 1783, to benefit the royal hospital and the poor, under the control of Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa (SCML). The year 1892, when Service of Lottery was created, marked the start of the lottery operating under the name of the “Loteria Nacional”, the only legal lottery in the country.

Portugal has the oldest lottery house in the world, named Campiao and active in the business for over 150 years. Their most prolific period was after World War II, when they opened branches in every major city of Portugal. Today, they sell lotto, football lotto, classic lottery, popular lottery and instant lottery in 16 branches throughout the country.

Casinos and the Gambling Zones

Portugal is divided into gambling zones and only one casino is allowed for each one. Access in casinos is allowed only for those over the age of 18. In terms of popularity, the most appreciated games in the Portuguese casinos are the slot machines. Currently, there are nine casinos in operation within Portugal, and one of the most popular ones is Casino Lisboa, the largest in Europe. Located at Lisbon’s Park Of The Nations, Casino Lisboa was opened to the public in 2006, and is owned by Estoril-Sol, whose major stakeholder is Hong Kong-based gambling mogul Stanley Ho, who also operates a Grand Lisboa Hotel & Casino in Macao.

Casino Lisboa offers 14,850 square metres of gaming space, with 1,100 the most diverse and popular gaming machines and 28 table games, including american roulette, baccarat, blackjack, french roulette, punto banco and roulette.

Online Poker: a Fructuous Experiment

Online poker is developing with a fast growing speed, and it’s now bigger than ever in Portugal. The online poker storm is truly taking over all over the country and there are already a lot of sites offering customer services in Portuguese, for example NoiQ. The government is now taking into consideration legalizing online gambling, as such a strategy would generate of 250 million Euros annually for the state. Moreover, former minister of sport Laurentino Dias suggested in 2011 that the Portuguese online gambling market was worth an estimated 600 million Euros.

Despite all the restrictions imposed to the gambling environment, many Portuguese players managed to win important titles, like Joao Barbarosa, winner of the main title at the European Poker Tour in Warsaw, the first player to bring home the championship title in any European Poker Tour.

2013, The Year of Gambling! The Second Part

As we have promised, we continue the assay we have dedicated to the gambling market, and now we will focus on the situation of gaming.

USA

The situation of the gambling market in the United States is not pink and the competition with Macau, where all the Vegas important players moved a significant share of their businesses in order to escape the generalized crisis that has gripped the American land, is felt in full.

Las Vegas. For the most part of the year 2012, Nevada has boasted of a comeback in the gaming industry, but the pace was slowed down in November last year. After experiencing increasing revenue on two consecutive months, casinos in Nevada have felt a decrease of 11% compared with the same period of the year 2011.

Las Vegas Strip has experienced the largest decrease in November 2012, with a rate of 13%, and 432 million dollars. The Las Vegas Strip was in a steady progress in the year 2011, after the restoration of the economic recession in 2008. Reno was not equally affected by the decline in earnings, with income dropping here just three percent and 37 million dollars. South Lake Tahoe has experienced a major growth in the gaming industry in the USA, earnings jumping to $ 18 million, meaning an increase of nearly 27%.

In December, analysts expected the figures to be again in balance, Nevada being one of the main tourist attractions during the holidays. On Christmas Eve, the population of Las Vegas was exceeded in number of inhabitants only by the city of New York. With the coming of the New Year, Nevada hopes to be a hit in the gaming industry; online casinos are an absolute priority. However analysts announced in January a return of the Nevada market of gambling, after the November’s declining.

The new bill concerning online gambling was introduced to the legislature debates in Nevada. William C. Horne, a member of the Democrat Legislative Body of Las Vegas, introduced during the session of February 13, the Bill AB114. Horne said the Bill eliminates a provision of the latest law regarding online gambling, which stipulated that Nevada has to wait for Federal legalization.

The bill now allows the Governor to conclude agreements with other States in order to combine the regulatory structure of Nevada with the States that provide a vast majority of amateur gamblers. AB114 also specifies a licensing fee of $ 1 million for the hosting online entities. Horne says that is just a number and that it can be changed. According to the Governor Office of the State of Nevada, Brian Sandoval opposes the higher tax licensing, and wants to find a solution before this bill becomes law.

Atlantic City. Casino revenues in Atlantic City declined with more than 13 percent in January compared with the same month of the year 2012. The year began with the left foot and could be the seventh year in a row in which revenues from casinos fall, speaking of a market which was the second largest in the United States.

The 12 casinos in the city have earned from gambling 205,6 million of dollars in January. Revenue from game tables declined by 5.1 million dollars at 67,1 million dollars. Revenues from slot machines decreased by 26.2 million dollars, to138.5 million dollars. The slots have experienced a fall of 8.1 million dollars due to the credit for promotional gambling initiated during that time, which are part of the total revenues of slot machines.

Casinos incomes have fallen in Atlantic City from a peak of $ 5.2 billion in 2006 to just little over $ 3 billion in 2012. As a sign of decay, the East Coast may note the fact that Trump Plaza, piece of resistance of the former Donald Trump’s empire of Atlantic City, was sold last Thursday to The Meruelo Group, a company based in California, with the amount of 20 million dollars. This acquisition was a true bargain, considering that in 1984, Donald Trump has invested 210 million dollars to build the Trump Plaza. Meruelo plans to redecorate and change the name of the property.

However, this transaction is good news for the city and for the State of New Jersey because it proves that this market has not died yet and it still sparks the interest of the investors.

Indian gaming industry (Native American).

We cannot end the analysis of the American market without noting the importance gain by the gaming industry controlled by tribes of native American Indians. Indian gaming statistics derived from the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), indicate that there are about 400 Indian gaming establishments in the U.S. Most of the revenue generated in the Indian gaming industry originate from Indian casinos located in, or adjacent to, areas of major metropolitan areas.

Native American industry is divided between the Eastern and Western United States. The largest casino in the State of California (U.S. West) is The Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, with 3,400 slot machines and about 188,000 sq. ft. (17,500 square meters) of gaming space. Other notable gaming operations in California include the Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa and The & Chumash Casino.

Foxwoods Resort opened in 1992 in Ledyard, Connecticut (Eastern US), managed by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe have income around the amount of 1.5 billion dollars. It is much more profitable than any other casino in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. With 7,200 slot machines and 400 gaming tables, with an area of 314,000 sq. ft. (29,200 m2), Foxwoods Casino is the second largest in the world (after the Venetian Macao with 550,000 sq. ft. – 51,000 m2 of gaming space).

The importance of Indian casinos for the US economy in general and in particular for the Indian one was huge over time because of the increase in income to the communities of protected areas, and in particular has led to a decline in unemployment among the native population. Even though in 2006 the U.S. Government has tried to curb the Indian business growth using the gambling legislation, however it still has the ability to deliver services at a higher level to contribute significantly to the well-being of their communities, but also to that of the American economy in general.

ASIA

Here is as if there is no crisis in this sector of the economy. In general, Asia is about the only place on the globe where the effects of the global economic recension is  not felt or seen. People still have money to spend and keep going around in this Asian dynamic economy that has not one but several engines that push up businesses: China, Japan, South Korea or Singapore are striking examples of this.

Macau. Gambling revenues in Macau, the world’s largest gambling market in the world, were of 3.5 billion dollars in December 2012, with 19.6 percent more than the same month of the year 2011! This increase was mainly due to the middle class in China that continued to “pump” money into the gaming industry, as well as investments in development of new casinos and in infrastructure.

The figures were disclosed in accordance with valuable predictions that have estimated a growth rate of 7-8%. Although the rate of increase fell from two-digit numbers in the last seven months, due to the decrease in spending of the VIP players, however revenues still remained quite solid. Annual revenue is expected to reach 38 billion dollars, six times more than in Las Vegas.

SJM Holdings Ltd remained leader of gambling in Macao in 2012, the company owning about 26,5% market share. The company, whose owner is Stanley Ho, was in 2012 the only one holding more than 20% of the market but with a drop of about 3% of the percentage of 29% in 2011.

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and Sands China Ltd are the only companies that fight for the second and third places in Macau. Just like in 2011, in 2012 they have managed close results. In 2012, the Galaxy Entertainment has posted the second in terms of market share, about 19%, with only one-tenth of a percentage point more than the Sands China.

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd managed to retain the obtained fourth place, with 13.5 percent market share, down from 15% in 2011. Wynn Macau Ltd took the fifth place, with a 2 percent decline, reaching 12% market share in 2012. MGM China Holdings Ltd has obtained the last place with a 10% market share achieved in 2012.

Macao will continue to be the main future pole of power in the world of gambling industry and we believe that there is nobody that can threaten this position in the near future.

In the future we will continue to develop our analysis on other divisions of the gambling market too.

Stanley Ho, “The King of Macau”

From the moment you step on a plane or ferry to get to Macau, check into a new luxury hotel on the gaming mecca’s waterfront, or dine at the city’s three-Michelin-starrestaurant, you will likely put money into the pocket of billionaire Stanley Ho. And that’s before you hit the casino tables.

Ho’s four-decade gambling monopoly, which ended in 2002, allowed him to build an empire that covers virtually every facet of the former Portuguese colony’s economy. Even with recent competition from U.S. rivals such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, the Ho family takes more than 50 cents of every dollar bet in the enclave – the only part of China where casino gaming is legal.

The Macao-based gambling tycoon, who says he never bets himself, is estimated by Forbes magazine to have a personal worth of over $4.8 billion. Mr. Ho part controls the Sociedade de Jogos de Macao (SJM), a gaming operation which runs casinos, greyhound races, horse betting and lotteries that reported a net profit of 116.8 million for 2009. Through it, he own 15 of the 18 casinos in Macao – including the Lisboa, the world’s highest-grossing casino – as well as the ferry and helicopter services that bring in millions of tourists to the island from Hong Kong.

Born in 1921 into the Ho Tung family, one of Hong Kong’s most powerful and respected clans, Mr. Ho faced hardship early in his life. Robert Ho-tung, his father, went bankrupt in the great depression and abandoned the family. Two of Mr. Ho’s brothers committed suicide. Mr. Ho won a scholarship to study at Hong Kong university, but was forced to abandon his studies by the outbreak of the Second World War, when the family fled advancing Japanese troops to Macao.

Mr. Ho began his career at a Japanese-owned import-export firm in Macao. His entrepreneurial flair led the firm to make him a partner when he was just 22. According to Joe Studwell’s book “Asian Godfathers”, Mr. Ho made his first fortune running luxury goods into China during the Second World War. He set up a kerosene company in 1943, and later profited from the post-war construction boom in Hong Kong.

In 1962, Mr. Ho invested his profits to win monopoly rights over gambling in Macao, as part of a consortium of businessmen. Their firm, the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macao, which owns the SJM, introduced western-style gambling and improved transport between the island and Hong Kong.

Gambling had been legal in Macao ever since 1847, but Mr. Ho and his consortium brought about a revolution in the gambling-tourism business, which now accounts for half its GDP. Macao’s gambling revenues overtook Las Vegas, and are expected to rise to over $30 billion this year, on the back of greater arrivals from mainland China.

Four times married Mr. Ho, who has 17 children, appeared in recent years to be preparing to hand over his empire to the next generation. His daughter Pansy Ho became a director in SJM and a 50 per cent partner in MGM Macao. His son Lawrence Ho headed another Macao casino company.

Mr. Ho devoted much of his time to philanthropic pursuits, famously bidding £211,000 for a pair of white truffles at a charity auction. He also made multi-million pound donations to scholarly institutions, including a pledge of £2.5 million for a chair in Chinese history at Pembroke College in Oxford.

Apart from the University of Hong Kong, Ho was awarded an honorary doctorate of social sciences from the University of Macau in 1984. He was appointed an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 1989 for philanthropy.

In 1995, the Portuguese government appointed Ho to the Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique (Great Cross of the Order of Prince Henrique), the highest honour for any civilian, for his contributions to society. In 1998, Dr Stanley Ho Avenue in Macau was named, which made Ho the first Chinese person in Macau history to receive this honour during his lifetime.

In 2003, Ho received the Gold Bauhinia Star from the Chief Executive and President of the Executive Council of Hong Kong, Tung Chee Hwa, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community, in promoting education, sports and other community services for youth.

In 2008, Ho received the Medal for Business Entrepreneurialism from the city of Cascais and the street running adjacent to the Estoril Casino was renamed as Avenida Stanley Ho. It was the first road in Portugal to be named after a living Chinese citizen.

In June 2009 he received the Visionary award at the G2E Asia conference, organised by the American Gaming Association; the award was delivered by Macau SAR Chief Executive Edmund Ho.

Trivia:

  • Stanley Ho was born in Hong Kong
  • Stanley Ho’s companies employ more than 10,000 people- comfortably the largest empolyer in the SAR (Special Administrative Region of China)
  • Did you know Bruce Lee and Stanley Ho are cousins? Bruce Lee’s mum is the daughter of the brother of Ho Fook, Stanley’s grandfather

Ho now controls the Macau Jockey Club, the Ka-Ho Port and an oil terminal, also owns 14% of the shares of Air Macau, not to mention interests in the Macau World Trade Center, television network, golf courses, roads, bridges, bars, restaurants and electricity company and many other companies

GRAND LISBOA MACAU- 5 stars hotel and casino

Grand Lisboa Hotel, is an iconic building set in the heart of Macau, is a testament to extraordinary elegance. With its distinctive location and architectural design, 12 acclaimed restaurants and 24-hour entertainment, the Grand Lisboa has truly earned its reputation as one of Asia’s finest casino hotel.

At the magnificent Grand Lisboa Hotel Macau, you will find  over 400 ultra-luxurious rooms and suites to choose from, each specially equipped with a Turkish steam bath and Jacuzzi to ensure your ultimate relaxation and comfort. Select from Superior, Corner or Suite Rooms and indulge in pure luxury and comfort during your stay at Grand Lisboa .

Leisure & Gaming

The building exterior presents the largest LED Dome in the world, made up of more than 1 million dazzling LED lights to light up your senses. When you  step inside the casino for unparalleled leisure spread over four floors of mass gaming. Over 240 gaming tables and 750 electronic games greet you with a range of fun in traditional or contemporary style. Find world-class entertainment and sophisticated dining of your choice and let our attentive and friendly staff assist your every need.

Table Games

Casino Grand Lisboa offers an extensive array of exciting casino games, friendly and attentive gaming staff and an unparalleled level of fun and excitement.

The gaming area is spread over four floors and comprises over 240 gaming tables that include a broad range of gaming options such as the traditional casino favorites of Baccarat, Sic Bo, American Roulette, Blackjack and Caribbean Stud Poker. In addition, there are the long-established games such asthe Money Wheel and Three Card Baccarat.

To complement the extensive variety of gaming alternatives already on offer the very popular games of Craps and Texas Hold’em Poker.  Also located within the main gaming floor is a dedicated area offering higher table limits and specially tailored programs catering to the Premium Player market.

To meet the demands of VIP guests, there are eight exclusive VIP rooms that feature over 50 Midi Baccarat tables. All rooms are operated to provide an unsurpassed level of service and offer increased table limits, excellence in food and beverage service together with experienced and professional staff and management.

Also the Grand Lisboa Poker Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is located on the 2nd floor of the famous Grand Lisboa Casino.

Electronic Games

Grand Lisboa Casino offers a wide variety of slot machines spread throughout three floors of vibrant gaming space. The casino has around 746 slot machines at present, with denominations as low as 2 cents and up to 10 dollars, along with 14 linked jackpots which are regularly won.

Aside from the Treasure Level which is located on the Lower Ground Floor and the main gaming floor on the first floor  and second floor, you will also find the High Limit Slot located on the second floor  specially created for valued slot players. It offers 55 machines with jackpots of more than a million dollars, and maximum bets up to $2500 per spin. The players can relax and enjoy a tasty selection of food and beverages while friendly attentive staff caters to their every need.

The owner of Grand Lisboa Hotel & Casino is Stanley Ho, also known as Ho Hung Sun, Stanley Ho Hung Sun, is an entrepreneur in Hong Kong and Macau. Ho is sometimes nicknamed “The King of Gambling”, reflecting the government-granted monopoly he held of the Macau gambling industry for 40 years. In 2011 he was the 13th richest man in Hong Kong with a net worth of US$2 billion. He is also Macau’s wealthiest person and amongst the wealthiest in Asia. He owns many properties in both Hong Kong and Macau and has taken part in many kinds of business including entertainment, tourism, shipping, real estate, banking, and air transport. It is also estimated that his enterprises employ almost one fourth of the workforce of Macau.

TRIVIA

Macau is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong-Kong which is to the east, bordering Guangdong province to the north and facing the South China Sea to the east and south.

Macau is the most densely populated region in the world, with a population density of 18,428 persons per square kilometre (47,728/sq mi). 95% of Macau’s population is Chinese; another 2% is of Portuguese and/or mixed Chinese/Portuguese descent, an ethnic group often referred to as Macanese.

Las Vegas: the present

History of Vegas ends here, but lets do a recap and see how things are going for Sin City. Not very well, but not very bad also…

Downtown competition

Currently downtown Las Vegas is the only place in Las Vegas where the casinos are clustered around an outdoor pedestrian zone, providing an experience similar to a state fair with gambling. Harrah’s entertainment has announced plans to build a similar venue with a giant ferris wheel around Flamingo, Harrah’s and Imperial Palace. But right now the Strip is mostly oriented at giant indoor casinos.

While the gaming revenue of downtown Las Vegas has remained relatively stagnant over the last two decades, the Las Vegas Strip has boomed. In fiscal year 1988 that ratio of revenue for the Strip compared to downtown was less than 3:1. In FY2008 the ratio is over 10:1. However, downtown rode the massive increase in tourist spending from 2004 through 2007 that swelled the non-gaming revenue of the area. Non gaming revenue and income hit an all time high in FY2006.

The population of the city of Las Vegas has increased from 249,000 in 1990 to about 600,000 in 2010. In the interim only three major casinos have been constructed inside the city limits (Stratosphere, Suncoast and Rampart Casino). So the downtown casino district with over 1100 employees has remained important to the city. Since the majority of the casinos remain outside the city limit many people have been promoting the idea of a Consolidated city–county government as a more equitable way to share revenue.

Entertainment

Most of the attractions and shows on the Strip are located on the hotel casino properties. Some of the more popular free attractions visible from the Strip include the water fountains at Bellagio, the Sirens of TI show at Treasure Island—TI, the volcano at The Mirage, and the Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain at Caesars Palace. MGM Grand features a glass-sided lion habitat inside the casino area, in which up to six lions are shown every day. The only movie theatre directly on the Strip is the 10-screen Regal Showcase Theatre in the Showcase Mall next to the MGM Grand (opened in 1997 and operated by Regal Entertainment Group).

In recent years, all but one of the on-Strip golf courses (the Desert Inn Golf Course) have fallen prey to the mega-resorts’ need for land and have closed. Developer Steve Wynn, founder of previously owned Mirage Resorts, purchased the Desert Inn and golf course for his new company Wynn Resorts. In 2005, he opened Wynn Las Vegas, complete with remodeled golf course providing tee times to hotel guests only. In 2000, Bali Hai Golf Club opened just south of Mandalay Bay and the Strip.

Future prospects

The FY2006 gaming abstract showed that the casino-hotels became extremely profitable when the average room rate for downtown went from $50 to $70 a night. It takes a lot less revenue to make a downtown casino profitable compared to one on the Strip. The average room rate for the Strip hasn’t been $70 since 1995. The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute is currently finished construction. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts will be completed in the year 2012. Certainly, the Golden Nugget is gambling on hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements to the property.

At the abandoned site of the former Holy Cow! casino and brewery which closed on May 2002 (across the street from the Stratosphere and The Sahara Casinos) a developer received preliminary approval to build a 98-foot (30 m)-tall video screen and a new casino. Aspen Highlands Holdings hope that the eye-catching attraction at the entrance to the city of Las Vegas will attract gamblers to the casino without an attached hotel.

Profitability had the potential to increase after March 28, 2010 when the ACE bus rapid transit project comes on line. The ACE rapid transit system will have the appearance and feel of a light rail transit network. Traffic lights will be controlled by a system similar to the one that emergency vehicles use. This modern transit system made travel from Fremont Street to the Convention Center virtually the same as the Las Vegas Monorail transit time from in front of the MGM-Grand, making thousands of low cost rooms within easy reach of the convention center. Unfortunately the first four months have shown no increase, and a new low of $32,134,417 was reached for July, 2010.

However, this current crisis is so severe, the revenue decreases are greater than all recent cost cutting or payroll reduction efforts. Some downtown casinos may come on the market in the near future, as an investor will be eager to try and repeat the success of Breitling, Poster and Icahn.

After three consecutive months of gains, gambling win at Las Vegas Strip casinos dropped 8.7 percent in August. It was a poor month around the state with only the Boulder Strip and South Lake Tahoe posting increased winnings compared to the same month a year ago. Statewide, the gambling win, computed before taxes and business expenses, dropped 6.1 percent to $886.8 million, down from $944.4 million in August 2010.

Downtown Las Vegas casinos fell by 4.5 percent after a 10.2 percent gain in July; North Las Vegas casinos registered a 6.5 percent drop; Laughlin was off 5.6 percent; Mesquite fell 4.5 percent and the rest of Clark County dropped 3.1 percent. Casinos on the Boulder Strip registered a 3.2 percent increase. Casinos at South Lake Tahoe reported a 16.2 percent increase, the second consecutive month of a double-digit gain. Gaming win at Washoe County casinos was off 9.2 percent and Carson City casinos fell 5.9 percent.

Versus Macau

The cylinder-shaped hotel tower housing the Casino Lisboa was what defined gambling for decades in this 17-square-mile former Portuguese colony parked on the shore of the South China Sea. Lacking amenities, flash and class, it lived in Las Vegas’ shadow. But all that changed over the past decade after Las Vegas got a piece of the action.

Steve Wynn built Wynn Macau across the street from Casino Lisboa. MGM Grand Macau moved in just down the block from Wynn. As Las Vegas companies began upping the ante, Casino Lisboa owner Stanley Ho knew he had to respond competitively. So he built a 58-story lotus-shaped tower — the tallest building in Macau.

That’s the way things have gone since 2004, when Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands opened the first American-owned casino in Asia’s new Las Vegas: As Las Vegas companies build, local players respond with something new. Analysts said it was only a matter of time before Macau would begin generating more gaming revenue than Las Vegas and become the leading casino market in the world. Not only were the analysts right, they underestimated just how explosive the growth would be. Last year, Macau’s gaming revenue grew to $23.4 billion, dwarfing Nevada’s $10.4 billion for the year.

Now, Macau has a new goal: To unseat Las Vegas as the premier destination resort in the world, accommodating conventioneers and a growing Asian mass market as well as the notorious, high–rolling whales the region is famous for. Macau is off to a good start, thanks to some excellent teachers. They came from Las Vegas.