The Three Wealthiest Owners of Casinos in Asia
Gambling has always been popular in Asia, where it goes back hundreds of years, and some local entrepreneurs have become the wealthiest owners of casinos in Asia.
Owners of casinos hail from various parts of the globe. Even though Las Vegas is well known for its gambling establishments, there are successful owners of casinos in the Far East too. Entrepreneurs who set up and manage casinos are worth a fortune and often seek ways to expand their casino empires.
The success of casino venues has also increased tourism volumes in certain areas, attracting vacationers who enjoy gambling and spending. The casinos also increase property values and funnel additional revenue towards certain regions and cities.
Wealthiest Owners of Casinos in Asia
Here is the list of the three wealthiest owners of casinos in Asia:
Lawrence Ho is the CEO and chairman of Melco Resorts and Entertainment, a Hong Kong-based casino company that operates in Macao, the Philippines, and Cyprus. He is the son of Stanley Ho, one of the legendary owners of casinos and the wagering tycoon who founded SJM Holdings in Macao.
According to Forbes, as of September 2021, Lawrence Ho has a net worth of US$3.1 billion. Under his leadership, Melco has become one of Asia’s fastest-growing gambling industry companies, with properties such as City of Dreams, Studio City, and Altira Macau. Melco also operates the City of Dreams Manila in the Philippines, which opened in 2015.
In addition to his casino empire, Ho is also a well-known philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education and disaster relief.
Lui Che-woo is the chairman of Galaxy Casino. Even though Che-woo is in his 90s, he is a relative newcomer to the casino industry. Che-woo was born in Jiangmen, China, and has a net worth of about US$21 billion.
Woo earned his fortune by reaching out to a multinational audience. He developed leisure and entertainment companies. He is also known for contributing to the hotel industry by providing construction materials and purchasing properties to reach his business goals.
Woo didn’t enter the gambling industry until 2011, when he launched the Galaxy Macau Casino and Hotel. The facility is worth US$2 billion, boasting 50 restaurants and 450 gambling tables. Gamblers can also enjoy luxury accommodation in the 2,200-room hotel, and there is even an artificial beach and a wave pool.
Like other wealthy owners of casinos, Woo is committed to donating to worthy causes and charities by giving a significant amount of his wealth to projects like medical care development and education.
Pansy Ho is the daughter of the late Stanley Ho and a businesswoman in her own right. She is the co-chairperson and executive director of MGM China Holdings, which operates the MGM Macau and MGM Cotai in Macao.
According to Forbes, as of September 2021, Pansy Ho remains one of the most affluent casino owners in the world, with a net worth of US$5.9 billion. She is also the founder and chairman of Shun Tak Holdings, a conglomerate specialising in transportation, property, and hospitality.
Under Pansy Ho’s leadership, MGM China Holdings has become one of the leading casino operators in Macau, with its properties offering some of the most luxurious gaming experiences in the world. The company is also expanding its presence in Asia, with plans to open a new resort in Osaka, Japan.
Growth of Gambling in Asia Since 2000
The 21st century has seen significant growth in the gambling industry in Asia. The region has become a hub for gambling activities, with several countries and territories, such as Macao, Singapore, the Philippines, and Cambodia, among others, emerging as major gambling destinations.
The following are some of the factors that have contributed to the growth of gambling in Asia over the past twenty or so years:
- Growing middle-class population: The rise of the middle class in Asia has increased disposable income, leading to increased demand for gambling activities. Gambling has become a form of entertainment for many Asians.
- Government support: Governments in Asia have recognised the economic benefits of the gambling industry and have supported its growth. They have relaxed their gambling laws and regulations, making it easier for operators to set up businesses.
- Rise of online gambling: The internet has made it possible for people to gamble anywhere, anytime. Online gambling has become increasingly popular in Asia, with many operators offering a variety of games, including sports betting, casino games, and poker.
- Cultural acceptance: In many Asian cultures, gambling has been a part of society for centuries. For example, gambling is an integral part of Chinese culture, and many Chinese people believe in luck and fortune. This cultural acceptance has led to the steady growth of gambling activities in Asia.
- Tourism: The growth of the Asian tourism industry has contributed significantly to the development of the gambling industry. Many tourists visit Asia specifically for gambling activities, especially in Macao and Singapore, which have become significant gambling hubs.
Ultimately, Lui Che Woo, Lawrence Ho, and Pansy Ho are among Asia’s wealthiest and most influential owners of casinos. Their companies have become synonymous with luxury and extravagance, attracting millions of visitors each year and generating billions of dollars in revenue. Their success is a testament to the growing popularity of casinos in Asia and the region’s potential for continued growth in the industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lawrence and Pansy Ho, as well as Lui Che-Woo are amongst the richest owners of casinos in Asia.
Factors such as tourism, rising popularity of online gambling, growing middle class, government legislation, and existing cultural acceptance, have led to the recent gambling boom in Asia.
Lawrence Ho and Pansy Ho are siblings. Their father, Stanley Ho, rose to become the biggest casino mogul in Macao.