The family of Macau gaming supremo, Dr Stanley Ho, have described him as being “in good shape” following reports he was rushed to the emergency room of a Hong Kong hospital on Friday night.
According to local media reports, the condition of the 97-year-old – who has spent the past five years receiving full-time care at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital following a fall at his home in 2009 – deteriorated late Friday afternoon, with nursing staff rushing him to the emergency room.
But those reports were denied by Dr Ho’s third wife and SJM Holdings director Ina Chan Un Chan and their daughter Laurinda Ho Chiu-lin.
Fronting the press on Saturday outside the hospital, Chan and Ho described Dr Ho as being “in good shape,” adding “I don’t know why there are these rumors.”
Apple Daily, which first broke the story on Friday night, also claimed that multiple family members including his fourth wife Angela Leong and daughter Daisy Ho had visited Dr Ho in hospital but Leong later told reporters this was not the case.
The health of Dr Ho – who co-founded STDM in 1961 and subsequently won a bid to operate Macau’s gaming monopoly – has been the source of speculation ever since his 2009 fall, which saw him gradually withdraw from public life while handing over control of his companies to various family members. It included the transfer of his entire direct 7% stake in SJM to Leong in 2010.
Dr Ho officially stepped down as Chairman of Hong Kong’s Shun Tak Holdings in June 2017, with daughter Pansy Ho stepping into the role – then as Chairman and Executive Director of STDM’s casino arm SJM Holdings in June last year with Daisy Ho elevated to the top position and Leong named co-Chairman.
As reported by Inside Asian Gaming, Pansy Ho, who is also Co-Chairperson and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings, last month initiated what appears to be a powerplay for control of SJM, with four of her firms forming an alliance with major SJM shareholder the Fok Foundation that effectively gives the alliance control of 53% of the company.