Scientific Game

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number Six - Angela Leong

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 13:47
Share
Visit us


6 Angela Leong

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SJM Holdings

MANAGING DIRECTOR
Sociedade de Jogos de Macau

DIRECTOR
STDM

POWER SCORE
2,221

LAST YEAR
6

CLAIMS TO FAME
• De facto gaming industry representative in Macau Legislative Assembly
• Stanley Ho’s fourth wife
• Owns largest individual stake in SJM Holdings

Whether you consider her the top casino executive in politics, or the top politician in the casino industry, Angela Leong holds a unique place in Macau. The fourth wife of Stanley Ho, four term legislator and mother of five is his heir apparent at SJM, the highest ranking woman in Asian, if not global, gaming, a business leader in Hong Kong and holder of political posts in her native mainland China. Her multibillion dollar property portfolio extends from Cotai to central London.

She was born across the border in Guangzhou, but like her Hong Kong native husband, Ms Leong has embraced Macau – and it’s hugged her right back. Her presence in SJM is crucial not just for keeping a family hand in the business – Stanley Ho remains SJM Chairman and Executive Director at age 96 but has been in poor health since July 2009 – but for confirming the company’s status as Macau’s local casino company.

Ms Leong has been a guiding force on Grand Lisboa Palace, SJM’s long awaited entry into Cotai. Numerous setbacks, most recently Typhon Hato in August and a fire in September, have delayed completion until at least late 2018 and upped the cost to HK$36 billion (US$4.6 billion).

When finished, the IR will have 2,000 hotel rooms under three nameplates, Grand Lisboa Palace, Palazzo Versace and Karl Lagerfeld. Ms Leong was reportedly instrumental in securing agreement with the Italian luxury fashion house to put the world’s third Versace hotel in Macau. Ms Leong’s oldest child, 27-year-old Sonia Ho, is a project manager on the IR.

The Grand Lisboa Cotai site measures 70,000 square meters (753,200 square feet), the smallest granted to any casino operator. Ms Leong has a 200,000 square meter plot adjacent to the site; she and SJM have been in talks for years about a lease agreement. She has suggested an amusement park, indoor beach and budget accommodation on the land, near the East Asia Games Dome at the southeastern end of Cotai.

That Cotai plot is but one example of Ms Leong being a part of and apart from SJM. She owns L’Arc, the 56-floor hotel and residential tower featuring an SJM licensed casino, buying out former partner New World in 2010. She leased the site of Jai Alai Hotel, adjacent to Oceanus, to SJM for redevelopment. The casino opened last December and the retail area featuring cosmetics and beauty products debuted in April, with the 130 room hotel that SJM desperately needs finally opened in November.

Clearly, Angela Leong is bigger than just her SJM position. But that begs the question of why she hasn’t been more proactive on behalf of the interests of the company and the broader industry. While no one expects her to use her government position to get SJM favorable treatment, she could, say, spearhead public-private efforts to create more world class tourist attractions on the Macau peninsula where SJM has the most assets or encourage meaningful action on visitor-resident issues? Either way, no one could accuse Ms Leong of lacking drive.

To return to the full list of 2017 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.

What's new

Strong fourth quarter results drive MGM China growth in 2017

Strong fourth quarter results drive MGM China growth in 2017 MGM China saw its revenue grow 3.0% for Full Year 2017 to HK$15.4 billion, aided by strong fourth quarter results in which net revenue rose 10% year-on-year and 17% sequentially to HK$4.6 billion. Casino revenue at MGM Macau contributed the vast majority of MGM China’s revenue for the 12 months t... Wednesday, 21 February 2018 06:49

Japan casino tax rate could be as high as 50%, floor space and entry restrictions looming

Japan casino tax rate could be as high as 50%, floor space and entry restrictions looming Japan is considering a tax rate of up to 50% on revenue made by local casinos, with the proceeds to be split between national and local governments, according to The Japan Times. The report cites ongoing discussions between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito which have outlined plans f... Wednesday, 21 February 2018 06:04

Universal rejects Steve Wynn claims that Stockholders Agreement no longer binding

Universal rejects Steve Wynn claims that Stockholders Agreement no longer binding Japan’s Universal Entertainment Group has rejected an assertion by former Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn that a 2010 Stockholders Agreement between Mr Wynn, ex-wife Elaine Wynn and Universal subsidiary Aruze USA “no longer binds either party.” The Wynn Resorts founder made the state... Wednesday, 21 February 2018 05:38

Revenue up but profit down as bad luck hits Star Entertainment Group

Revenue up but profit down as bad luck hits Star Entertainment Group Australia’s Star Entertainment Group saw its profit tumble 76.8% to AU$33 million and EBITDA fall 33.6% to AU$200 million in the six months to 31 December 2018 due to bad luck in its international VIP business. But the results didn’t accurately reflect strong business volumes, with internationa... Wednesday, 21 February 2018 04:53

Current Issue

Design For Profit

Design For Profit Architect Paul Steelman provides his insights into designing the most expensive privately funded buildings on earth and making and breaking trends. By Muhammad Cohen | Editor-at-Large EMINENT casino architect Paul Steelman helped create the Asian gaming boom with the groundbreaking design of Sands... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:11

Climbing the mountain

Climbing the mountain   ASX-listed Silver Heritage Group finally launched hotel and casino operations at its new Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa in late 2017, having survived the 2015 earthquake, a fuel blockade on the Nepal-India border and an AU$19 million (US$14.4 million) funding shortage as a result of the delays. ... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:07

Can sportsbooks survive a 1% tax on handle?

Can sportsbooks survive a 1% tax on handle?   The big news coming out of the United States this year is the likely striking down of the federal ban on sports betting. But with many states licking their lips in anticipation of added tax dollars, the sports betting industry may well have another crippling fight on its hands. THE US Supreme C... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:05

Herman Ng:Macau Pioneer

Herman Ng:Macau Pioneer Inside Asian Gaming discovers a bit more about Herman Ng, CEO and Executive Director of Macau-based slot machine services firm Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE). Ben Blaschke: Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your background? Herman Ng: I grew up in Macau and then when I was 16 ... Monday, 29 January 2018 14:52