Macau is recording records all over the place with better than average numbers lately. It may have come as a surprise that Stanley Ho is stepping down from his position with SJM Holdings. However, it seems that he is finally ready to hand the reins over to someone else. At ninety-six he has certainly worked his entire life to build the empire he holds.
Daisy Takes Over
Stanley Ho’s leaving SJM Holdings as the chairman is something that was discussed in April, when he gave his formal intention. The board has formally approved Ho’s stepping down as chair during the SJM general meeting. Daisy was elected to take his place, with directors Timothy Fok and Angela Leong as co-chairs. Angela Leong is Ho’s fourth wife.
Ho will be in a position of chairman emeritus, which is recognition of his contributions to SJM Holdings and Macau. He is considered one of the founding fathers of the Macau gambling industry. He is also credited with visionary leadership and significant growth of the company in the last decade.
SJM grew in relative terms, but when one compares the overall market in Macau, it has shrunk in size of holdings. It hit a low of 16.1 percent growth in 2017. SJM Holdings is one of six casinos that have not branched out into the Cotai Strip. The development called Grand Lisboa Palace is not going to open until early 2019.
SJM CEO is supporting Macau concessionaires who are uncertain about their license renewal. SJM and MGM will have licenses that expire in 2020. There are four other concessions that will also expire in a couple of years.
Macau is not very open about their concession renewal process, which is one of the reasons the license renewal is a constant worry among Macau casinos. The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac said operators may need to rebid for their licenses and may not have the option for automatic renewal. Macau Legend Development, which is part of SJM, is trying to advocate for more concessionaries. Legend’s chairman, David Chow, was a former Macau legislator is also trying to urge the government to provide two concessions for the renewal/rebidding process. Chow said smaller companies are going to face quite a few obstacles.
There may also be some “favor” going on with local firms that the government may try to craft policies around to ensure specific companies get license renewals.