Billionaire Pansy Ho is keeping Macau a Top Gambling Destination

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Macau’s gaming growth has exploded over the past few years and now takes in five times the revenue as fellow casino mecca Las Vegas. However, many critics have pointed out that Macau needs to do a better job of diversifying into other forms of entertainment. And Hong Kong’s richest woman, Pansy Ho (US$3.3 billion), is doing her best to make this diversification happen.

As the daughter of Sir Stanley Ho, who transformed Macau from a tiny Portuguese colony into the world’s largest casino hub, Pansy has found herself as one of the territory’s most influential people. She’s got a big stake in the family business, which includes a ferry operator to the island, Shun Tak (umbrella for lots of Macau property), the Grand Lisboa Casino and an MGM Casino joint venture. Because the Ho empire extends beyond just gaming, Pansy holds a vested interest in expanding Macau’s entertainment options.

She said, “We want to broaden out – we want to have the shows, the music, the retail experience, maybe even certain themed attractions. We need to find ways to bring to Macau something interesting, maybe not unlike what Abu Dhabi is doing.”

One of the biggest challenges that faces Macau’s prospects of transforming into an all-inclusive entertainment destination is the territory’s past. Up until the 1990’s, this special administrative region of China was rife with gang activity and violence. However, Ho believes that this isn’t as much of a problem these days. She said, “No, it has cleaned up. We don’t see any of that happening.”

Pansy Ho’s vision is for Macau to become more of a family-friendly destination – much like Vegas. And while this will definitely take some work, it’s within the realm of possibility for the world’s largest gaming destination. Assuming Macau can replicate Vegas’ success as an entertainment capitol, there’s no telling how much revenue may grow.

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