After suffering through 26 months of decline, the previous five months have seen the casino market in Macau post improvements in aggregated gross gambling revenues and this has reportedly helped some of the figures behind these enterprises to increase their personal wealth going into 2017.
According to the latest Hong Kong’s 50 Richest People list from Forbes magazine, Pansy Ho, the major shareholder in MGM China Holdings Limited, has seen her net worth rise by nearly 20% year-on-year to $4.3 billion as her Shun Tak Holdings Limited hotel, ferry and property development firm benefits from Macau’s rebound while punters are also anticipating the opening during the second half of 2017 of the $3.1 billion MGM Cotai hotel and casino project.
Despite sitting at 16 on the list, 54-year-old Ho is not the top-placed casino magnate on Forbes’ annual Hong Kong-based rich list with this honor going instead to the Cheng family due to its control of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, which is hoping to open the $3.5 billion Baha Mar Casino And Hotel in the Bahamas in April. Although sitting comfortably at third in the billionaire inventory with $17.9 billion, the Cheng’s wealth is still reportedly dwarfed by the $23.6 billion now held by real estate tycoon Lee Shau Kee alongside top-placed assets trader Li Ka-Shing due to his fortune of $30.3 billion.
Other Macau casino billionaires in Forbes’ Hong Kong-based rankings include 87-year-old Lui Che Woo, who is at sixth on the list with a personal fortune of $11.2 billion while Angela Leong, Managing Director for operator SJM Holdings Limited, sits at 18 with $4 billion. Woo, Chairman for Galaxy Entertainment Group with its properties such as the former Portuguese enclave’s Galaxy Macau, Broadway Casino and StarWorld Macau, has reportedly saw his wealth soar by 40% year-on-year while 55-year-old Leong’s value rose by 16% since January of 2016 due to the impending opening in of the $3.9 billion Grand Lisboa Palace.
Forbes declared that it compiles its annual lists utilizing shareholding and financial information obtained from individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private databases and other sources while another prominent Hong Kong-based casino figure in its most recent rankings is Cui Lijie from Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited at position 45. Already reportedly holding a fortune of $1.37 billion, this year could be even better for the 58-year-old as her company is expecting to inaugurate the $500 million first phase of its Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan within the next three months.
However, the annual Hong Kong-based list was not all good for Macau’s casino entrepreneurs as Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Melco Crown Entertainment Limited, reportedly fell to 42 in the rankings with a portfolio holding $1.43 billion. But, Forbes explained that this slump could soon reverse following the addition of VIP gambling rooms at the operator’s Studio City property while last month saw the 40-year-old engineer a $1.2 billion deal to purchase additional shares in the joint enterprise from Australian firm Crown Resorts Limited and give him a controlling stake of 51.3%.