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Stanley Ho Hung-sun GBM GLM GBS GML OBE (Chinese: 何鴻燊, born 25 November 1921) is a Hong Kong-Macau business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chairman of SJM Holdings, which owns nineteen casinos in Macau including the Grand Lisboa. Ho has been nicknamed variously Godfather and King of Gambling, reflecting the government-granted monopoly he held on the Macau gambling industry for 75 years. His wealth is divided amongst his daughter Pansy Ho ($5.3 billion)[1] who owns MGM Macau, fourth wife Angela Leong ($4.1 billion)[2] who is managing director of SJM Holdings, and son Lawrence Ho ($2.6 billion)[3] who owns City of Dreams.

Stanley Ho

Native name
Ho Hung-sun

(1921-11-25) 25 November 1921 (age 97)
China (Hong Kong)
China (Macau)
EducationQueen's College, Hong Kong
Alma materUniversity of Hong Kong
OccupationFounder and Chairman of SJM Holdings
Net worthUS$2.5 billion
Spouse(s)Clementina Ho†
Lucina Laam
Ina Chan
Angela Leong On-kei
Children17 with four women
Parent(s)Ho Sai-kwong
Flora Sin
RelativesHo Fook (grandfather)
Sir Robert Ho (grand-uncle)
Stanley Ho
Traditional Chinese何鴻燊
Simplified Chinese何鸿燊

Ho is also the founder and Chairman of Shun Tak Holdings, through which he owns many kinds of business including entertainment, tourism, shipping, real estate, banking, and air transport. It is estimated that his businesses employ almost one fourth of the workforce of Macau.

Apart from Hong Kong and Macau, he has also invested in mainland China, Portugal, North Korea where he operates a casino, Vietnam, the Philippines, Mozambique, Indonesia and East Timor.

Ho is also an entrepreneur in Asia and has held a number of important positions in many firms in Hong Kong and Macau. His opinions and statements on Hong Kong's real estate and commercial development have considerable sway on the market. In the past few years he has been involved in litigation with his own sister, Winnie Ho, concerning the ownership of the Macau casino. Having suffered a stroke in July 2009, followed by a long period of recovery, Ho Stanley began steps in late 2010 to devolve his grip on his financial empire to his various wives and children.

Early lifeEdit

Ho is descended from great-grandfather Charles Henry Maurice Bosman (1839–1892), who was of Dutch Jewish ancestry, and his Chinese mistress Sze Tai (施娣) a local woman of Bao'an (present-day Shenzhen). His grandfather was Ho Fook (何福), brother of the great merchant Sir Robert Hotung.[4]:187,195 Ho is the ninth of thirteen children of Ho Sai-kwong (何世光).


Ho studied at Queen's College, Hong Kong, at which he attended Class D - the lowest class level in the then Hong Kong Class System - owing to unsatisfactory academic results. After realizing that studying assiduously was the only way to improve his social status, his hard work paid off and earned him a scholarship to the University of Hong Kong.[5] He became the first student from Class D to be granted a university scholarship. His university studies were cut short by the outbreak of World War II. In 1942, he fled from the Japanese and settled in Macau.


Macau Tower, chaired by daughter Pansy Ho[6]

Ho began clerical work at a Japanese-owned import-export firm in Macau. He made his first fortune smuggling luxury goods across the Chinese border from Macau during World War II.[7] In 1943 he set up a kerosene company and established a construction company with his money.

Ho, along with partners, including Hong Kong tycoon Henry Fok, Macau gambler Yip Hon and his brother-in-law Teddy Yip, bid for Macau franchises. By bidding high and promising to promote tourism and to develop infrastructure, they won the public tender for Macau's gaming monopoly at a cost of approximately '(US?)$410,000[clarification needed], defeating the long-time Macau casino barons, the Fu family. In 1961 the company was renamed Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, S.A.R.L. (STDM). Business at its flagship Lisboa Casino Hotel blossomed, the hotel later to become well-known internationally. In the same year, Ho also set up Shun Tak Holdings Ltd, which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Through a subsidiary, TurboJET, it owns one of the world's largest fleets of high-speed jetfoils, which ferry passengers between Hong Kong and Macau.

Ho's investments in Macau are diverse. In 1989, after STDM took full control of the Macau Jockey Club, Ho became its chairman and chief executive officer. In 1998 Ho became the first living Macanese resident to have a local street named after him. He also launched Asia's first football and basketball lottery, called SLOT.

Ho was named by the Canadian Government, citing the Manila Standard newspaper, as having a link to the Kung Lok Triad (Chinese mafia) and as being linked to "several illegal activities"[8] during the period 1999–2002. Ho's alleged ties to Chinese organized crime have also been reported by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, citing a U.S. Senate committee and several government agencies, when the state investigated his ties to American casino operator MGM Mirage.[9]

Current positionsEdit


  • Chairman Emeritus without directorship, Shun Tak Holdings Limited (信德集團)
  • Chairman, Seng Heng Bank Limited[10]
  • Director, Shun Tak Shipping Company, Limited
  • Chairman, iAsia Technology Limited (亞洲網上交易科技有限公司)
  • Chairman, the Chinese Recreation Club in Hong Kong (CRC)
  • Managing Director, Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau, SARL (STDM)
  • Chairman, SJM Holdings Limited (澳門博彩控股有限公司) (retirement announced in April 2018[11])
  • Ho also has made many other investments, including in venture capital and foreign real estate (such as in Singapore[12] and London[13]).


Stanley Ho Building, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • President of Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong (香港地產建設商會)
  • Chairman of the board of directors of the University of Hong Kong Foundation for Educational Development and Research (香港大學教研發展基金董事局)
  • Member of the Court and Council of the University of Hong Kong (香港大學校董會)
  • Member of the Court of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Vice patron of Community Chest of Hong Kong (香港公益金)
  • Member of the board of trustees of the Better Hong Kong Foundation
  • Patron of the Society of the Academy for Performing Arts (香港演藝學院)
  • Vice-president of the Association of Benefactors of Kiang Wu Hospital (鏡湖醫院) in Macau
  • Trustee of the Foundation for the Co-operation and development of Macau
  • Member of the Council of the University of Macau (澳門大學)
  • Founder of the Dr. Stanley Ho Medical Development Foundation(何鴻燊博士醫療拓展基金會)


In 1987, Portugal agreed to return Macau to China in 1999. Ho took part in the joint advisory committee. He is a Standing Committee member of the 9th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.


Ho has 17 children born to four women. Ho refers to his children's mothers as his wives.[14] Polygamy remained legal in Hong Kong until 1971.[15]

In 1942 Ho married his wife, Clementina Leitão Ho, from the prestigious Portuguese Leitão family (Chinese:黎登)– her grandfather was a lawyer and Macau's only notary public at the time. They had four children. Leitão was involved in a motor vehicle accident in 1973, and suffered partial memory loss as a result. In 1981, Ho's and Leitão's son Robert and daughter-in-law Suki Potier died in a car accident. Clementina Leitão Ho died in 2004 and was buried in the St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery (Portuguese: Cemitério São Miguel Arcanjo).

In the late 1950s Ho met his first consort Lucina Azul Jean Ying née Laam King-ying. The relationship resulted in five children including daughters Daisy Ho, to whom Ho ceded the chairmanship of SJM,[11] and Pansy Ho, a 50 percent partner in MGM Macau; son Lawrence Ho, CEO of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, another Macau-based casino company; and Josie Ho (何超儀), a rock singer and award-winning actress. Lucina's family now resides in Canada.

Ina Chan became Ho's third 'wife' in 1985. Ho's wife Clementina Leitão needed constant nursing care following her car accident, and Ina Chan was one of the nurses brought in to look after Leitão. Ho and Chan have three children; Laurinda Ho, Florinda Ho, and Orlando Ho.

Fourth 'wife' Angela Leong On-kei, with whom Ho has had four children, met Ho in 1988 as his dance instructor.[15] Ho and Leong's children are Sabrina Ho, Arnaldo Ho, Mario Ho and Alice Ho. [16] Leong is now the incumbent member of Legislative Assembly in Macau.

Wives *Clementina Leitão Ho
*Lucina Azul née Laam
(b. 1943)
*Ina Chan
(b. 1953)
*Angela Leong
(b. 1961)
Children Jane Ho (1947-2014) married to Siu Pak-sing Pansy Ho, (b. 1962) married to Julian Hui (divorced) Florinda Ho, (b. 1989) Sabrina Ho, (b. 1990), married to Thomas Xin
Robert Ho (1948–1981) married to Melanie Susan Potier Daisy Ho (b. 1964) married to Simon Ho Laurinda Ho, (b. 1991, twin), engaged to Shawn Dou Arnaldo Ho (b. 1993), previously engaged to Jeannie Chan
Angela Ho (b. 1958) married to Peter Kjaer Maisy Ho (b. 1967) Orlando Ho, (b. 1991, twin), married to Qi Jiao (齊嬌) Mario Ho (b. 1995), married to Ming Xi
Deborah Ho (b. 1962) Josie Ho, (b. 1974) married to Conroy Chan   Alice Ho, (b. 12/06/1999)
  Lawrence Ho (b. 1976) married to Sharen Law    
Grandchildren Ringo Siu - by Jane (b. 1979) Beatrice Ho - by Daisy (b. 1995) Tittania Ho - by Orlando (b. 2018) Audrey Rose Xin - by Sabrina (b. 2019)
Faye Ho - by Robert (b. 1975) married to Michael Anthony Iesu (divorce) Gillian Ho - by Daisy (b. 1997) Baby girl -by Orlando (b. 2019) Ronaldo Ho - By Mario (b. 2019)
Sarah Ho - by Robert (b. 1978)[17] Ho Hoi Chi - by Lawrence (b. 2006)    
Stanley Ho-Willers - by Angela (b. 1987)      
Ariel Ho-Kjaer - by Angela (b. 1993)      
Great-Grandchildren Melanie Iesu - by Faye      
Micheal Iesu - by Faye      

Non-linear relationsEdit

  • Ambassador Eric Hotung, a billionaire grandson of Sir Robert Hotung, was a second cousin of Ho, and had a long-running relationship with Ho's sister Winnie Ho - the couple had a son, Michael Ho, but Hotung fell out with his former lover and Michael and sued them for recovery of money allegedly loaned.[18]
  • Another of Ho's sisters, Susie Ho, is the widow of one of his former business partners, Teddy Yip.
  • According to available records, Bruce Lee and Stanley Ho are second cousins through Lee's mother, Grace Ho (何爱瑜). Her father, Ho Kom-tong (何甘棠), and Ho's grandfather, Ho Fook, were maternal half brothers. Ho Kom-tong (何甘棠)share the same mother, but have a Chinese father Kwok Hing-yin (郭興賢)
  • Distant family around Asia such as the Ho family in Singapore. Relatives include Jason Ho, George Ho, Rebecca Ho Tsui-nam, and Ho Khai-wan.

Personal lifeEdit

Over the years, dancing has been one of Ho's favourite hobbies, achieving excellence in tango, cha-cha-cha, and waltz. He often danced for televised charity fundraisers and has sponsored numerous dance performances in Hong Kong and Macau, including the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Macau Arts Festival, promoting the art of dance. He has also invited internationally renowned dancing groups, such as the National Ballet of China, to perform in Hong Kong and Macau. Ho is a patron of the Hong Kong Ballet, the International Dance Teachers Association and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Dance. One of a number of thoroughbred racehorses owned by Ho, Viva Pataca, named after the currency of Macau, won several top Hong Kong races in 2006 and 2007.

In late July 2009, Ho suffered a fall at his home that required brain surgery. For seven months Ho was confined to the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital and, later, the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, during which period he made only one public appearance, on 20 December 2009, when he travelled to Macau to meet Chinese president Hu Jintao on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Macau's return to Chinese sovereignty. Ho was discharged from the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital on 6 March 2010 and has since used a wheelchair.[19]


Qing relicsEdit

In 2003, Ho donated a Qing dynasty bronze boar's head to China's Poly Art Museum, a state-run organisation that aims to develop, display, rescue and protect Chinese cultural relics. The boar's head is part of a collection of 12 looted from the imperial Summer Palace in Beijing in 1860 when it was sacked and burnt by French and British armies.[20] On 21 September 2007, Ho donated to the Chinese government a Qing dynasty bronze sculpture of a horse's head originally taken from the Old Summer Palace. Ho had reportedly just purchased it from a Taiwanese businessman for US$8.84 million.[21]

Lanceford disputeEdit

In late January 2011, a dispute erupted among his wives and children involving the transfer of ownership of his private holding company, Lanceford.[22] On 27 December Lanceford allotted 9,998 new shares, representing 99.98 per cent of its enlarged share capital, to two British Virgin Islands companies: Action Winner Holdings Ltd, wholly owned by third wife, Ina, holding 50.55 per cent and Ranillo Investments Ltd, equally held by each of Laam's five children, holding the balance. The allotment document filed with the Registrar of Companies was signed by Laam's daughter Daisy.[23]

Ho issued proceedings in the High Court, naming its directors – 11 defendants, including his second and third wives, and children Pansy and Lawrence Ho, alleging the group "improperly and/or illegally" acted in changing the share structure. The writ sought an injunction restraining the defendants from selling or disposing any of the 9,998 new shares in the company. The two British Virgin Islands companies were also named in the writ. Ho said his intention from the outset was to divide his assets equally among his families and that the actions of the directors of Lanceford effectively eliminated this possibility, according to a statement issued by his lawyer Gordon Oldham.[24]

Amidst confusion caused by conflicting statements from Ho and his wives and children about the state of the dispute, Ho, through Oldham – who had been allegedly sacked and rehired within the space of a few days – said he had been pressured to make public statements and sign legal documents without him being fully apprised of their contents.[24] What was to become a saga of soap-opera proportions ensued including official video postings of statements on YouTube.


In 1984, Ho was awarded an honorary doctorate of social sciences from the University of Macau in 1984. In the New Year Honours 1990, Ho was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) "for services to the community in Hong Kong"[25] 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, the first Chinese person to be so honoured in Macau during their lifetime.

In 2003 Ho received the Gold Bauhinia Star from the Chief Executive 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.[26] 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. In November 2010 Ho was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal the highest under the Hong Kong honors and awards system, reserved for those making a lifelong and highly significant contribution to the well-being of Hong Kong.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Pansy Catilina Ho". Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
  2. ^ "Angela Leong". The World's Billionaires 2017.
  3. ^ "Lawrence Ho". The World's Billionaires 2017.
  4. ^ Ho, Eric P (2012). Elizabeth Sinn (ed.). Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9789888083664.
  5. ^ "Asia's Wealth Club: Who's Really Who in Business – The Top 100 Billionaires in Asia" ISBN 1-85788-162-1 – Geoff Hiscock.
  6. ^ "Dr Stanley Ho retires as Shun Tak Executive Chairman, replaced by Pansy Ho". Inside Asian Gaming. 25 June 2017. Archived from the original on 14 April 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Billionaire Stanley Ho's struggles to adapt to new Macau", Channel News Asia, 14 July 2008
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "N.J. Says Casino Magnate Has Mob Ties in China". The New York Times.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Ho, Stanley Hung Sun 何鴻燊". Webb-site Who's Who. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  11. ^ a b "BRIEF-SJM Holdings Says Ho Hung Sun, Stanley Will Retire As Chairman". Reuters. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Stanley Ho's Shun Tak Pays $216M for 61% Stake in Orchard Road Commercial Complex". Mingtiandi. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Irish property firm sells London mansion and offices for over £246million - Irish Post". Irish Post. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  14. ^ Oster, Shai; O'Keeffe, Kate (27 January 2011). "Stanley Ho confirms share transfer to wives, daughter Angela shocked". The Australian.
  15. ^ a b Ng Yuk-hang & Wong, Martin (27 January 2011). "Ho the daddy of them all when it comes to his hectic love life", South China Morning Post
  16. ^ "8 Young Ladies You Should Know From 2017's Le Bal Des Debutantes". Tatler Hong Kong.
  17. ^ Why Sarah Ho is playing the long game
  18. ^ Rift between Hong Kong billionaire and secret lover over soured Macau casino deal laid bare in court, SCMP, 24 May 2016
  19. ^ Archived 15 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Chinese zodiac statues' origins". BBC News. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  21. ^ Geoffrey A. Fowler (21 September 2007). "In Macau, Moguls Bet Big on Donated Art". WSJ.
  22. ^ "Family Feud Grips Stanley Ho Casino Empire -". The Wall Street Journal. New York: Dow Jones. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  23. ^ Gough, Neil (27 January 2011). "What Ho did when he found out he was poor", South China Morning Post
  24. ^ a b Wong, Natalie (28 January 2011). "See you in court" Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "No. 51981". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1989. p. 16.
  26. ^ "Cascais honours Stanley Ho", Algarve Resident, 9 Oct 2008

External linksEdit

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Edward Leong
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Succeeded by
Victor Fung
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal