Macau gambling king Stanley Ho dies aged 98

Stanley Ho, the man who built a gambling empire from scratch in Macau, has died at 98.

Ho became one of Asia's richest men, a tycoon in the former Portugese colony, who headed one of the world's most lucrative gaming businesses.

His SJM Holdings owns nineteen casinos in Macau, including the iconic Grand Lisboa.

Ho also spearheaded Macau's junket VIP system.

It sees middlemen act on behalf of casinos by granting credit to gamblers and taking responsibility themselves for collecting debts.

U.S. regulators said Ho was linked to triads, or criminal gangs, which he denied.

But his swashbuckling business style and philanthropic work won him admiration in Macau and nearby Hong Kong.

He lost a four-decade monopoly on Macau's casinos when the city opened up to competition in 2002.

His firm now faces five other casino operators, including U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Sands China.

Ho was born in Hong Kong, and had four wives and 17 known children.

In 2012, he was forced to restructure his business after a legal feud erutped within the family over his fortune.

Analysts say they don't expect his death to greatly impact day-to-day operations.

Some of Ho's children became successful gaming operators in their own right.

Daughter Pansy is the co-chair of MGM Resorts' Macau unit, while son Lawrence runs Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which include the City of Dreams and Studio City resorts.

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