Ho Family Might Lose Two Portuguese Licenses

During his lifetime, the gambling mogul Stanley Ho built a flourishing gaming empire. Two years ago, Ho passed away, leaving his business to his family. Now, his family’s mettle will be tested as a rival firm endangers their Portugal casinos.  

Stanely Ho’s Family Might Lose Two Portuguese Casinos

Casino de Lisboa and Casino do Estoril are two properties operated by Estoril Sol, a holding in which the Ho family has a significant stake. Тhe company, now chaired by the late magnate’s daughter, Pansy Ho, owns a smaller casino in Póvoa de Varzim called Casino da Povoa. In addition, Estoril Sol has licenses to operate iGaming and online sports betting.

However, the Lisboa and Estoril casinos’ licenses are set to expire this year, which required the Ho family to once again bid for ownership of the venues. The retendering process was launched this August.

The winner of the new tender will receive a license to operate the two Cascais-based casinos for the next decade and a half. Surprisingly, an undisclosed company put forward a higher bid than the Ho family. This means that ownership of the two casinos, which are among the biggest gambling venues in the country, may change.  

According to an Estoril Sol representative, the offer put forward by the competing company had a higher value than the one made by the Ho family associates. The tenders will now be evaluated, the spokesperson said.

There Is an Undisclosed Higher Bidder

The Ho family is famous largely because of Stanley Ho who ushered in a new era of gambling in the special administrative region of Macau. His role in transforming the region into a gambling haven earned him the moniker “King of Gambling.”

Despite the Ho family’s influence, however, losing the two casinos in Cascais is nothing to be laughed at. The two venues are located near Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, and are a major source of revenue for Estoril Sol’s operations in the country. The company earned around $131 million in 2021 (current conversion rates) and has been fairly consistent with its income throughout the last two years.

In other news, this year, the Portuguese gambling regulator, Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) sought to regulate crash and loot games. The authority said that certain multiplier restrictions should be introduced to ensure that the games are fair. According to the SRIJ, crash games tend to be too volatile and unpredictable.

In March, the SRIJ banned gambling odds and categorized them as illegal gambling advertisements.

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