Macau Casino King Stanley Ho Settles His Family Spat

Posted on March 14th, 2011

Macau Casino King Stanley Ho, who during the Portuguese colonial years in Macau, near Hong Kong, ran a casino monopoly in the territory, has worked through a family feud.

The Casino Taipan of The East has dropped a lawsuit against several of his family members and settled issues over his inheritance that accounts for a share in his Macau casino empire worth about $1.6 billion.

The high-octane drama offered a fly on the wall look into the dealings of one of Asia’s richest men and shone a torchlight on an acrimonious power struggle for control of Hong Kong-listed casino company Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, (SJM).

A statement released Thursday by Ho and his family said the dispute had been “fully worked out” and that all parties had come to an an agreement.

The 89-year-old gambling tycoon made the front pages in HK and around the world earlier in 2011 after he disputed the transfer of the stake to the families of his 2nd and 3rd wives. Ho’s legal team had said the tycoon, whose health is failing and was admitted to hospital for 7 months after alledgedly undergoing brain surgery in August 2009, was tricked into signing over the shares.

SJM shares soared 6.8% to HK$ 12.92 after the press release, swelling Ho’s stake,  to about $1.6 billion.

Ho personally dropped the lawsuit, which had been filed at Hong Kong’s High Court 5 days earlier.

SJM operates 17 casinos, 4 slot machine lounges and 2 hotels in Macau, the world’s biggest gambling market. Ho’s casinos are still the market leaders, with about 30% of the city’s gambling take, which rise to a record $23.5 billion in 2011.

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