6 Angela Leong
CO-CHAIRMAN AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Sociedade de Jogos de Macau
POWER SCORE: 2,118
POSITION 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
Even with the once-dominant SJM continuing to lose Macau market share – a result of it being the only concessionaire yet to open its Cotai integrated resort – it has been quite a year for Angela Leong.
Already the company’s largest individual shareholder, she enjoyed a minor upgrade to her official role on the SJM Holdings board as part of a management reshuffle in June, taking on the role of co-Chairman following the retirement of her husband Stanley Ho as Chairman.
More significant was the October announcement that a parcel of land she controls alongside SJM’s under-construction Grand Lisboa Palace in Cotai will be developed into an integrated resort, to be called Lisboeta.
Set to open in 2020, Lisboeta will be a classic Macau-themed IR covering 141,000 square meters and coming at a cost of HK$5 billion. The resort will come under the operation of Macau Theme Park and Resort Limited, a company in which Leong and son Arnaldo Ho are the key directors, with gaming almost certain to be incorporated pending government approval.
Of course, Leong holds plenty of influence when it comes to local politics, having been a directly-elected legislator since 2005 and being re-elected for her fourth term last September. She is without peer the most significant woman in the Asian gaming industry – possibly the world – on top of being an influential business leader in Hong Kong and to a lesser extent in mainland China.
Her influence politically combined with her local Chinese roots, having been born just across the border in Guangzhou, remains one of SJM’s strongest assets and will remain so in the coming years as the company looks to wrestle back some of Macau’s lucrative gaming revenue pie.
That ambition will be aided by the long-awaited launch of Grand Lisboa Palace, which SJM’s Vice-Chairman and CEO Dr Ambrose So recently confirmed would open in late 2019 – allaying fears the launch may be pushed back to 2020. When finished, the IR will have 2,000 hotel rooms across three hotel brands – Grand Lisboa Palace, Palazzo Versace and Karl Lagerfeld. Notably, Leong was instrumental in securing the agreement with the Italian luxury fashion house to put the world’s third Versace hotel in Macau.
The impending opening of both Grand Lisboa Palace and Lisboeta only adds to her many interests, which also include the 56-floor hotel and residential tower L’Arc on Macau’s peninsula as well as Jai Alai Hotel and Oceanus near the Macau Ferry Terminal.
Clearly Leong isn’t planning to slow down any time soon.
For the full list of 2018 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.