Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, 97, is in good shape and resting in a private Hong Kong hospital, his wife and daughter have said, rejecting reports suggesting the billionaire might be seriously ill.
Ho’s third wife Ina Chan Un Chan, and daughter Laurinda Ho Chiu-lin, met the press outside the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital in Happy Valley on Saturday amid news that he may be experiencing organ failure.
They stressed Ho was just resting in hospital and was not under intensive care.
“He is in good shape. I don’t know why there were such rumours,” Chan said, adding that her husband could eat with and talk to family members.
She said Ho’s Lunar New Year wish was that his children remain obedient.
“Touch wood! There are such rumours in the new year,” the younger Ho said, adding that the reports had affected the family’s mood.
He is in good shape. I don’t know why there were such rumours
Ina Chan Un Chan, wife
Stanley Ho, popularly known as the “King of Gambling”, has been the patriarch of Asia’s largest casino empire for four decades, and was instrumental in shaping Macau’s status as the world’s gambling hub.
On Friday, media reports emerged that Ho’s health had worsened and doctors had asked family members not to leave the hospital, citing sources.
Born in Hong Kong in 1921, Ho was one of the heirs of four powerful families with a grip on Hong Kong’s wealth in the colonial era. He was the grand nephew of Sir Robert Hotung and has 12 siblings.
Ho is known for his philanthropy, with 12 museums, hospitals, sports centres and educational institutions in Hong Kong and Macau carrying his name. His donations included HK$39 million (US$5 million) given to the University of Oxford’s Pembroke College to boost Chinese history studies.
He also bid HK$2.57 million for the largest white truffle found in half a century, at a charity auction in 2007.