Following reports of money laundering in Macau by North Korea, the New York Times looks at Macau’s other claim to fame: it’s gambling enterprise, with a lengthy report on Macau businessman and casino king Stanley Ho (who, coincidentally, also operates a casino in Pyongyang):
The Grand Lisboa is also the crown jewel of a casino empire controlled by Stanley Ho, the strong-willed and secretive billionaire who for 40 years held the city’s only gambling license. Mr. Ho maintained a lock on the gambling trade here despite longstanding allegations by government authorities worldwide that his casinos had ties to organized crime and were engaged in money laundering, loan sharking and prostitution (allegations that his competitors have been more than happy to keep in play).
Today, five years after Mr. Ho’s gambling monopoly expired, his casinos are under assault from a group of ambitious Las Vegas tycoons who are investing billions of dollars in a city that recently passed the Las Vegas Strip as the world’s biggest gambling destination. [Full text]