Macau Casino Boom Lures Hong Kong billionaire clan to up the ante
Macau, a Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, has a gaming boom behind the rise of two billionaire newcomers onto the 2014 Hong Kong Rich List unveiled by Forbes yesterday is attracting fresh investment money from another rich list member, Cheng Yu-tung.
International Entertainment, 75% controlled by the family of Hong Kong billionaire Cheng Yu-tung, said last night it will pay as much as almost $950 million, for a 70% stake in gambling-junket operator Sun City Gaming Promotion.
Cheng, who already has a minority stake in Hong Kong-listed casino operator SJM Holdings ranked No. 5 on our list yesterday with estimated wealth of $15.5 billion, much of it made from online casinos in Macau and abroad.
Dynasty of wealth
Cheng who took advantage of gambling laws in Macau, is said to be ailing, and the key posts in his empire, which includes conglomerate New World Development and luxury retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, are now primarily held by his son Henry.
Casinos in Macau, the world’s largest gaming mecca, took in 19% more cash last year than a year before, or $45 billion. The boom has also enriched U.S. billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Steven Wynn. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands and Wynn’s Wynn Resorts both have operations in Macau and subsidiaries whose shares have soared at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the past year.