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Billionaire Stanley Ho has officially finished dividing his assets, but the conflict over control of the controversial magnate’s businesses may rage on for a long time yet.

Regular readers and industry followers will undoubtedly recognize the name of Stanley Ho from our coverage of Macau’s rising casino fortunes. Until the last few years, Ho’s SJM Holdings held a monopoly on casino gaming in Macau. Even with the removal of trade barriers, and the subsequent entry into the market of gambling giants such as Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn (with Sands China and Wynn Macau, respectively), SJM Holdings to this day maintains a double-digit percentage lead over any competitors.

However, Ho’s wealth and power has caused a number of disputes since the 89-year old became ill in the last few years. Investors and other have taken notice of the fact that four wives, and their children, are each vying for a part of the Ho legacy. It may be assumed that Ho is taking action before the confused situation has any more effect on his companies’ value.

However, Ho’s division may cause more problems than it solves. His third wife, Ina Chan, received slightly more than half (a ‘controlling share’?) of his fortune, with the remainder divided among children of his second wife. This is all in addition to the stake given to fourth wife Angela Leong last year, and to the apparently unconnected Macau casino companies partially owned by children Pansy and Lawrence Ho (legally unable to accept additional Macau casino holdings due to their existing casino licenses).

We’ve barely scratched the surface of this complex tale. Stay tuned for updates as we learn them!

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