Sharks of gambling industry. Part 2.

Steve Wynn
The third serious player on the market of gambling entertainments in Las Vegas and Macao. Steve was born in 1942 in Connecticut. Unlike Kirk and Sheldon, Steve received very good education, according to American standards – he graduated from Pennsylvania university. Steve had to engage in private business straight after graduation. His father, the owner of the network of bingo clubs in the west of the U.S., died when Steve was still a student. The son continues his business. Steve’s career in “big” business starts in 1967. Having saved some money, he buys a small share of the casino-hotel “Frontier” in Las Vegas, where he moved for permanent residence together with his wife. Having no funds to build his own casino, Steve gets acquainted with the owners of the already existing casinos and offers them his services in renewal of their business. His first project was reconstruction of the casino «Golden Nugget». Steve transformed the absolutely ordinary casino into a luxurious institution, which immediately became a great success with the players. Having showed himself and earned a pretty penny, Steve decided to invest money into buying shares of other Vegas casinos, in order to reconstruct them as well. The following major project is renovation of the casino «The Mirage». According to Steve’s conception, it was to become the most outstanding, rich, elite casino of Las Vegas. He intends to found there a big park and an artificial volcano, and make the best rooms and hotel service in Vegas. Steve bets on luxury. Despite apprehensions of the partners (the project was very expensive), he managed to embody his ideas. «The Mirage» became and for a long period remained the most prestigious casino of Las Vegas, bringing huge profits to its owners.
After this project Steve’s name enters the history of the world capital of gambling. However, Steve does not rest on his laurels. Conversely, he becomes thoroughly engrossed in a new reckless venture. Developing his conception of a “luxurious casino”, he totally changes the casino-hotel «Bellagio»: an artificial lake, an internal greenhouse, an art gallery with canvases of great painters, expensive boutiques and restaurants. Enormous diligence, multiplied by talent, made Steve one of the richest people in Vegas, the owner of casinos. In 2000 he sells «The Mirage» to the company «MGM Grand», which after this purchase changes its name to «MGM Mirage».
Wynn spends most of his money on building a new institution, which opens in April 2005 on the site of «Desert Inn». The new brainchild of Steve is called «Wynn Las Vegas».
Apart from interests in Vegas, Steve invests funds into conquering the Asian market. In the short-term perspective it is planned to open the casino «Wynn Macau». Steve’s activity has brought him 2.1 billion dollars, which allowed him to occupy the 365th position in «Forbes» world rating.
Stanley Ho
The wealthiest representative of gambling industry in Asia who for more than 30 years was the single ruler of this industry in Macao. Stanley was born in 1921 in Hong Kong. His great-grandfather was a Dutch Jew who married a local woman. The Ho family was one of the most renowned and influential in Hong Kong. But Stanley was not able to make use of the wealth of this family. His father went bankrupt, when Stanley was a student. Due to financial break-down his two brothers committed a suicide, and his father renounced his family and left Stanley with two sisters and mother. Despite all hardships, he successfully graduated from Hong Kong university and mastered three languages. Stanley started his career in a trade company, located in Macao. Outstanding business skills and proficiency in several languages allow him to become a shareholder of the company at the age of 21. Ho received his first fortune as a result of a very unpleasant accident. Stanley was responsible for sea trade. During one of the voyages the ship with Stanley, who carried a great amount of money, aboard was subject to an armed attack. Stanley, practically on his own (many of his fellow employees were killed) stands against the gang and returns both the money and the ship. The company duly appreciated the courage of their employee and rewarded him a bonus of one million! In 1943 Ho invested his million into construction industry, his new company is located in Hong Kong. At this time the city undergoes a real construction boom, and Stanley receives very decent dividends from his business. But his ambitions are not limited to construction business, together with his partners he wins the tender for the monopolistic right to open gambling institutions in Macao. Stanley won the tender with the sum of only 410 thousand dollars. For many years Ho’s company becomes the monopolist of Macao gambling market. Stanley invests all his money and skills in this company. By 1972 he owns 9 casinos, including casino-hotel «Lisboa», one of the most beautiful casinos of the world.
In the 90-ies Ho extends beyond the borders of Macao and opens 9 casinos on the Philippines, however, as a result of a conflict with the president of this country, he had to renounce his Philippine business. Apart from the casino, Ho owns many betting operators and totalizators. In 2003 the budget of Macao by 30% consisted of revenues from the activities of the companies that belonged to Stanley. His business provides work to more than 10 thousand people. In 1998 Ho becomes one of the first living inhabitants of Macao, in whose honour the local street was named. But earlier or later everything comes to an end. Ho’s idyll ends in 2000, when Macao authorities decide to cancel monopoly for gambling industry. Since 2002 Ho has to share gambling industry with American “sharks” – Wynn and Adelson, who immediately used the chance to become familiar with Asian market. Presently Stanley Ho’s fortune is 6.5 billion dollars, he has the 84th position in the «Forbes» world rating.

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