We can’t get enough of The New Yorker’s huge spread on Macau, China’s high stakes gambling Mecca.
The piece is called The God Of Gamblers, why Las Vegas is moving to Macao,” by Evan Osnos, and it gives you the whole truth and nothing but about how Macau came to be what it is now.
And one of the men who made it that way was Stanley Ho, the billionaire who had total monopoly over gambling in Macau until 2002.
Being the only game in town gave Ho some pretty high-flying friends. He did business with anyone and everyone, and that’s why the FBI wanted to turn him into an informant. From the New Yorker: In his choice of business partners, he was non-judgmental; he ran horse racing under the Shah of Iran, a gaming boat under Ferdinand Marcos, and an island casino under Kim Jong Il. Intelligence agents were desperate to cultivate Ho for his connections, but the late Dan Grove, a retired F.B.I. agent who served in Hong Kong, told me, “Nobody ever got past first base.” Yes, we’ve heard that the F.B.I. is interested in what Kim Jong Il was doing…