Ho made daring bets on love and gave recreation tips


Stanley Ho was a man rarely seen at the gaming table and even advised teenagers not to indulge in gambling.

The "Casino King" even said he was not a fan of gambling and had rarely taken part in it.

"I've always told people to treat gambling as games and entertainment and never to get too bothered with it," he once said. "You can hardly win me over when I play because I take a commission on your bets. But people just never listen to me."

He added, "We, casino operators, make money as if we were printing banknotes. You cannot become poor if you print banknotes every day."

Ho was also a well-known womanizer – with four women, 16 children and 12 grandchildren. He was called "Dancing King" when he met two of his wives on the dance floor.

Ho met his first wife, Clementina Leitao, in 1941, a scion of Portuguese civil servants and lawyers.

Dubbed "the prettiest woman in Macau," Leitao was in love with Ho at first sight and made him learn Portuguese to win her heart. They married in 1942 and had a son and three daughters.

Unfortunately, her son Robert Ho Yau-kwong died in a car accident at the age of 33 – Leitao was devastated by the loss. Their eldest daughter, Jane Ho, also died of an illness in 2014.

Leitao herself had two road accidents – 1952 and 1973 – before she died in 2004.

Since 1957 Leitao suffered from chronic intestinal problems and was confined to a wheelchair after the second car accident.

Ho then persuaded Leitao to allow him to marry Lucina Laam King-ying, who was only 14 when he met her at a ball in the 1950s.

Laam became Ho & # 39; s second wife in 1957 and soon became known as the "Dancing Queen" who accompanied Ho to parties. They had four daughters and one son.

In 1977, Ho fell in love with Ina Chan Un Chan, Leitao's private nurse. She became his third wife and they had two daughters and a son.

Ho met his fourth wife, Angela Leong On-kei, at a party in 1986. Leong is SJM co-chair and Macau lawmaker. They had two daughters and two sons.

Although four wives were recognized as his wives, only Leitao and Laam were legally married to Ho, with Laam being married as a concubine under the laws of the Qing Dynasty, which enabled a man to have more than one wife. However, the law was abolished in 1969.

Ho & # 39; s death raised concerns about how his wealth should be distributed among his family, although he had already made plans to split it among his 16 children – with those of his second, third and fourth wives sharing most of his fortune handled.

His children with Laam have become Ho & # 39; s successor in his business empire after he retired from running his company eleven years ago for health reasons.

His oldest daughter, Pansy Ho Chiu-king, is the chairman and director of Shun Tak Holdings, valued at HK $ 7.6 billion.

The second daughter, Daisy Ho Chiu-fung, is the co-chair of SJM Holdings, valued at HK $ 46 billion, and the youngest son, Lawrence Ho Yau-lung, is the chairman and general manager of Melco International Development, valued at HK $ 21.5 billion $.

Ho & # 39; s greatest asset was the Macau Tourism and Entertainment Company – commonly known by the abbreviation of the Portuguese name STDM – which he co-founded in 1961. She is the parent company of SJM Holdings and her net worth is unknown as she is an unlisted company.

Laam's children own 26 percent of STDM.

In January last year, they signed an agreement with the family of co-founder Henry Fok Ying-tung to jointly decide who should become chairman and director of the group.

After the formation of the alliance, Laam's children and Fok's family secured 53 percent of the STDM shares.

The third Ms. Chan owns around 10 percent of STDM and is responsible for managing the casinos in Vietnam, while the fourth Ms. Leong owns over 8 percent of SJM's shares in order to become her second largest shareholder.

Leitao's children remain inconspicuous and have played no significant role in their father's business.

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