Francis Lui Is The Unlikely New Face Of Macau Gaming
by Muhammad Cohen
Galaxy’s evolution from a company that “didn’t deserve” a gaming concession, according to Macau’s casino liberalization chief, to market leader reflects Macau’s evolution from a VIP gambling destination toward the “world center for tourism and leisure” that Macau and Beijing authorities prescribe. It also reflects Galaxy deputy chairman Francis Lui filling the void left when Stanley Ho, Mr Macau, then chairman of casino operator SJM Holdings and the face of local gaming since the 1960s, collapsed at home in July 2009, effectively ending his business career. You would have expected someone with casinos in their blood, or at least more prominent on their resume than Lui, a Cal-Berkeley trained engineer with no prior gaming experience, to assume Ho’s role and make their company as Macau’s unofficial local champion in its most prominent industry. Lui’s ascent was all the more unlikely given three billionaire contenders for the role from Ho’s family circle.
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