13 Ambrose So
VICE CHAIRMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CEO
Sociedade de Jogos de Macau
POWER SCORE: 1,420
POSITION LAST YEAR: 10
CLAIMS TO FAME
Joined Stanley Ho’s gaming and tourism business in 1976
“Responsible for execution of the Company’s strategy and the overall management of the Company’s business,” according to SJM Holdings annual report
Having spent much of the past two years answering questions about exactly when SJM’s long-awaited Grand Lisboa Palace will finally open, Stanley’s Ho’s longtime confidante Ambrose So recently was finally able to offer a definitive date – sort of – with confirmation of a 2H19 launch.
Although a full three years later than initially planned due to a lengthy series of delays, at least the company he has largely helmed since Ho collapsed at home in 2009 now has something to look forward to.
The lack of a Cotai presence – with all five fellow concessionaires having now opened their properties following the February debut of MGM COTAI – has seriously hurt SJM Holdings’ bottom line.
Once the dominant player in Macau, the company’s market share now sits at around 15.2%, having fallen from 19.5% a few years ago and from 15.4% last year. Most problematic is the mass segment, considered the industry’s long-term future, where SJM continues to lose share despite gaining some ground in VIP in 3Q18.
Clearly the HK$36 billion Grand Lisboa Palace can’t come soon enough.
Nevertheless, SJM is still throwing some punches even while it waits to climb back into the main ring. Current peninsula flagship Grand Lisboa continues to perform respectably, while Oceanus and Jai Alai – located alongside one another near Macau Ferry Terminal – have shown recent improvement on the back of more Jai Alai facilities coming online throughout the year.
SJM also maintains a substantial footprint with 22 of Macau’s 41 casinos operating under its license either directly or as “satellite casinos” in third party locations.
And the recent announcement by SJM Co-Chair Angela Leong that she and son Arnaldo Ho will launch a new IR called Lisboeta directly alongside Grand Lisboa Palace – including 820 valuable new hotel rooms – can’t hurt either.
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