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Politics Turns Casino Family Sour. 2005-07-06
Asian gambling industrialist, Stanley Ho, has now disowned his younger sister. The rift has been ongoing for about four years now, finally coming to a sad end. The most prominent family is going their separate ways.
The siblings, who are 83 and 82, started battling in 2001. The battle was over 3 billion patacas, $635 million, of shareholdings, and extra fees in STDM. Mr. Ho's gambling domain is in Macau, a former Portuguese settlement.
Lawsuits and threats rose last week when STDM's equity investors ousted Ms Winnie Ho as a shareholder. The claim of this was because she was disturbing the company's smooth running. Shareholders unanimously voted to oust her from the company. Macau courts still have to decide on the issue.
STDM controls 15 of Macau's 17 casinos, as well as their airline, port, airport, television network, bridges, Macau Jockey Club, not to mention many hotels. SJM, the gaming arm, accounts for 42% of Macau's $10 billion earnings last year.
An angered Ms Ho has decided to take here brother to court on this issue. She denounced her brotherís decision, as well as STDM, on her expulsion from t he company. In a twist, Ms Ho has decided to put her brotherís third and fourth wives as directors of the company. In a way she is getting back at her brother, through family.
It is a sad turn of events, when at ages 82-83 feuds come to a sad conclusion. Lawsuits, and disownment, sound like things that come in a divorce. The divorce of siblings is even harder to handle. It just goes to show, is it better to do businesses with family?
(By Andrea)