The Multiethnic Identity and Contributions of Stanley Ho, the King of Gambling in Macao

Category: China, Hong Kong, University
Last Updated: 02 Apr 2023
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Stanley Ho Hung Sun : the ‘King of Gambling’ ,from his multiethnic identity to the contribution to society Introduction Macao is known to the world for its casino industry. Macao's richest man, Ho Hung Sun, is an entrepreneur in Asia. Ho is also known as "The King of Gambling", showing the monopoly he held of the Macau gambling industry for over 40 years. Behind Stanley Ho's successful career is a story of ordeals and adventures that will inspire everyone. This essay focuses on the contribution of Stanley Ho as a multiethnic entrepreneur in laying the foundations for Macao to become a world-know gambling place.

The factors that explain Stanley Ho's success is complex . Ranging from his multiethnic identity, family connections, to the historical background (particularly the Second World War and the Handover to China), have all played a vital role. Background Stanley Ho’s Multi-ethnicity Stanley Ho was born in a well-known and influential family in Hong Kong on November 25, 1921. His grandfather Ho Fok was the younger brother of Sir Robert Ho Tung, an influential figure in Hong Kong’s political and commercial circles at that time. While Sir Robert Ho Tung, was an influential businessman in British Hong Kong.

He was an multiethnic person, born to a man of Dutch and Jewish ancestry named Charles Henri Maurice Bosman and Madame Sze, a Han Chinese woman of Bao An heritage. It has often been claimed that he was the "first Chinese to be allowed to live on Victoria Peak" in 1906. Stanley Ho’s father, Ho Sai Kwong, was a business who made great fortunes. Stanley Ho was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But his father lost his fortune when he was only 12, after an adverse stock market investment and abandoned his family. It shown that Stanley Ho is Portuguese, Jewish, British and Chinese multi-ethnic mixed. Fortunes may not follow you a lifetime, only knowledge will. ” By Stanley Ho Stanley Ho studied at Queen's College, Hong Kong. Owing to his unsatisfactory academic results, he attended Class D, which is the lowest class level. After realizing studying was the only path to improve his social status, he worked hard and earned himself a scholarship to the University of Hong Kong. He was the first student from Class D to be granted a scholarship. But unfortunately he couldn't finish the studies due to the broke out of World War II in1942. Stanley Ho’s Career

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Stanley Ho left Hong Kong for Macao with only 10 Hong Kong dollars in his pocket. Fortunately, He soon found a job in the biggest company in Macao. The company was jointly controlled by the most influential groups in Macao, the Portuguese Macao government and the Japanese army. Thanks to his hard work and command of four different languages (Portuguese, Japanese, British and Chinese) . Ho became a partner of the company and got a million dividends at the end of the second year he joined. When the war ended, Ho returned to Hong Kong and started the real estate business.

As the industry in Hong Kong was experiencing a period of rapid growth, Ho made huge profits from the business and became one of the richest men in the region. In 1961, the Portuguese Macau government planned to develop Macao's casino industry and placed bids for its operation. Ho teamed up with Henry Fok Ying Tung, a businessman in Hong Kong, and won the bid. They promised the government to open a new port in Macao, and secondly, bought efficient ships which could shortened the commuting time between Hong Kong and Macao to about one and a half hours.

More importantly, they committed to spend 90%of the income they earned on charities. Offering such favorable conditions, their rivals could not compete at all. At the end of 1990, Ho had already control the entire casino industry in Macao with his nine casino companies. It is estimated that about 1/4 of residents in Macau were worked for his companies. This explains why Ho received the glory of the "Gambling King" though he never gambled himself. In 2003, Ho lost his monopoly on Macao's casino industry due to the stricter government's policy. But his influence in Macao's economy and his status as the Gambling King do not end.

In 2008, Ho was 113th on "Forbes" magazine's list of the world's richest people. According to the report by Hong Kong media in 2010, Ho’s four listed companies shares held by the hand, including the Casino, the Shun Tak group and MELCO international and VC holdings, the market value at that time a total of about HK $35 billion dollars. His properties, plus the sum of the market value of the non-listed companies, conservatively estimated that they worth more than 60 billion Hong Kong dollars. Honours ; Awards With his international profile, Ho received a number of honours from overnments around the world, including Portugal, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Spain, Japan, Malaysia, the Papal Insignia and others. Macau   | A Medalha de Honra Lotus de Ouro (Golden Lotus Medal of Honour) (2001)A Medalha de Honra Grande Lotus (Grand Lotus Medal of Honour) (2007)A new avenue in Macau was named after Dr. Ho as “Avenida Doutor Stanley Ho” (Dr. Stanley Ho Avenue) in May 1998. He is the first Chinese in the history of Macau who has an avenue to be named after during lifetime. G2E Asia Visionary Award (2009) | Hong Kong | Gold Bauhinia Star (G. B. S. ) (2003) |

China     | Honorary Citizen gGuangzhou, Guangdong Province (1993)Honorary Citizen of Nanhai, Guangdong Province (1994)Honorary Citizen of Foshan, Guangdong Province (1995)Honorary Citizen of Sanshui, Guangdong Province (1995)Guangzhou City - Award for Outstanding Achievement (1996)Honorary Citizen of Jiangmen, Guangdong Province (1997)Honorary Citizen of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province (1998)Honorary Citizen of Beijing (2000)Chinese Charity Award (2005 ; 2008)Beijing Olympics Honour (2008) | Portugal | Comendador da Ordem de Benemerencia (Commander of the Order of Benefaction) (1970)Comendador da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique (Commander of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator) (1981)Grande-Oficial da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique (Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator) (1985)Gra-Cruz da Ordem do Merito (Grand Cross of the Order of Merit) (1990) Medalha Naval de Vasco da Gama (Naval Medal, Vasco da Gama) (1991)Gra-Cruz da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique (Order of the Grand Cross of Prince Henry the Navigator) (1995)Nuno Goncalo Vieira Matias (Medal of the Naval Cross, First Class) (1999)Medalha de Merito Turistico No Grau Ouro (Gold Medal of Merit in Tourism) (2001)Medal of Corporate Merit by the Municipality of Cascais (2008)An avenue in Cascais was named after Dr. Ho as “Avenida Dr. Stanley Ho” (Dr. Stanley Ho Avenue) in October 2008. He is the first Chinese in the history of Portugal who has an avenue to be named after during lifetime. | United Kingdom | Commander of the Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem (1983) Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O. B. E. ) (1990) | France| Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (1983) Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur (2004)| Spain | Cruz de Plata de la Orden Civil de la Solidaridad Social (Silver Cross Medal of Social Solidarity) (1993) |

Belgium| Commandeur de L’ordre de la Couronne (Commander of the Order of the Crown) (2007) | Japan | Insignia of the Order of the Sacred Treasure (1987) | Malaysia   | Darjah Dato Seri’ Paduka Mahkota Perak (S. P. M. P. ) (Honourable Order of the Crown of Perak) (1990) Darjah Seri’ Paduka Mahkota Terengganu (S. P. M. T. ) (Honourable Order of the Crown of Terengganu) (1997) | Papal Insignia| Eqvitem Commendatorem Ordinis Sancti Gregorii Magni by His Holiness Pope John Paul II (1989)| Contribution to Society Adhering to the principle of “from society to society”, Ho supports many activities for the benefit of Macau’s people and society. As a responsible entrepreneur, he places special emphasis on improving social welfare, medical services and education in Macau and Hong Kong.

Because during those years of managing the casino business, he admitted that many families were ruined by gambling. So he did a lot of charity works to make up for it and live up to the expectations of society. In Social Aspect Ho worked to strengthen the foundations of Macau, including enhancement of Macau’s basic infrastructure, transportation and tourism amenities. Examples of developments that demonstrate Ho’s contribution to Macau include the Friendship Bridge, Macau Maritime Terminal, Macau container port, Macau International Airport, Macau Tower, urbanization of the Outer Harbour District, reclamation of the Nam Van Lakes District, high speed ferries, hotels and many others.

All these help turning Macau into an integrated tourism city and benefits of its people. As Ho said in 1962, “The view that our enterprise is merely focus on gambling is a misconception. Our purpose is to bring a new prosperity to Macau and to improve the welfare and living standard of Macau citizens”. History proves his promise. Over the years, Ho has also contributed to the promotion of Macau as a platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries for economic and cultural exchange by means of his investment presence and networks in Macau, Hong Kong, China and Portugal. In Educational Aspect Ho’s charitable contributions on educational field are extensive.

Donations to schools and education funds are set up to encourage students from the low-income family to continue their studies. For example, The Stanley Ho Scholarship is available to the new graduate accepted for a research degree at Oxford University in the area of Chinese studies. He also supports the Girl Guides and the Boy Scouts, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Workers' Children Schools in Hong Kong and Macau, to the Police Children's Education Trust. Conclusion Relation between his identity and career During the days Ho escaped to Macau in 1942, he joined the Macau Cooperative Company, the ownership of which was shared between Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese interest parties.

Ho was well command of four languages, Portuguese, Japanese, English and Chinese due to his multi-ethnicity. Then he could be well communicated with different parties at that time. He soon became successful in Macau, he then returned to Hong Kong in 1947. His company, the Agencia Commercial Progresso, engaged in ship-breaking and dealt in piece goods. From 1948, he was Managing Director of the Hong Kong Match Factory. He traded with Korea during the Korean War. As Ho's eldest daughter Angela mentioned, thanks to her late mother, Clementina Leitao. Her connections in Portugal and Macau were the biggest single factor for Ho in winning the gambling monopoly in 1961.

Ho’s business interests extend from Macau, Hong Kong, China and Portugal to across the world and cover a spectrum of industry sectors including gaming, hospitality, real estate, shipping. Relation between his identity and contribution “One must study hard. Nothing is better than a good education,” said Ho. Upon success in career, Stanley Ho has paid much attention to the development of education in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, including sponsoring and funding various research and educational programs. As a member of the Court of the University of Hong Kong, Stanley Ho offered financial assistance to the construction of its new academic building and facilities, for example the University of Hong Kong Stanley Ho Sports Centre.

For his contributions to the Hong Kong economy and to the promotion of education, The University of Hong Kong conferred upon him an Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences in 1987. Ho is the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of The University of Hong Kong Foundation for Educational Development and Research, and a founding member of the Court of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University as well. The reason why Stanley Ho contributes so much on the educational fields of Hong Kong is obvious. Across several studies (Renn, 2004; Wallace, 2003), how a multiracial individual looks, including skin color, hair texture and color, eye and nose shape, and so ,could strongly influences his or her identity.

For Stanley Ho, he has big blond eyes with long and tall nose like foreigners. But to a certain extent, Ho treated his identity as a Hong Kong citizen. Although Stanley Ho is a multiethnic person with Portuguese, Jewish, British and Chinese multi-ethnic mixed. Ho was born and raised in Hong Kong. He studied at the Queen's College and the University of Hong Kong. Ho believes that fulfilling his obligations to society is such a source of happiness and satisfaction. So he donates much to support students in Hong Kong. Probably majority of them goes to the University of Hong Kong, which is the mother school of Stanley Ho. To a certain extent, the ecological approach described by Brunsma helps explaining such case.

It predicts mixed-raced individuals will choose one race or other to identify with depending where they are in live- in other words, the different situation or physical location they may find themselves in. As Stanley Ho was born and raised in Hong Kong and worked in Macau for long periods, It is not difficult to explain why he contributes so much on both Hong Kong and Macau’s schools and academic institutions instead of those in India, for example. Future Ho has made extensive contributions to the gambling business of Macau and to the sustainable prosperity of Macau over the past 48 years. Among the six operators, SJM (the one owned by Stanley Ho) is the only company with its roots in Macau, and the largest casino operator in terms of gaming revenue, market share and number of casinos.

Now that the king of gambling Stanley Ho is 92 years old already, his rivals are speculating on who will fill the power vacuum when he eventually dies. Since Macau opened its markets to foreign investors, the era of Stanley Ho has been diminishing gradually. There will not be another figure like Stanley Ho . And the future of Stanley Ho's holdings has been in question. Words Cited List Renn, K. A. Understanding the Identities of Mixed-Race College Students Through a Developmental Ecology Lens. Journal of College Student Development, 2003. Print Wallace, K. R. Contextual Factors Affecting Identity Among Mixed Heritage College Students. Multiracial Child Resource Book: Living Complex Identities. MAVIN Foundation, 2003. Print

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The Multiethnic Identity and Contributions of Stanley Ho, the King of Gambling in Macao. (2017, Mar 05). Retrieved from

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