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Macao gaming tycoon Stanley Ho has died at 98

Last Updated May 26, 2020 at 2:38 am EDT

FILE : In this file photo taken on July 26, 2009, Macao tycoon Stanley Ho, talks to reporters after the Macau chief executive election in Macao. On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, the family of Stanley Ho, the Macao casino tycoon considered the father of modern gambling in China, has died at 98. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

HONG KONG — Macao casino tycoon Stanley Ho has died, his daughter Pansy Ho said Tuesday. He was 98.

The dashing billionaire and bon vivant was considered the father of modern gambling in China. He had a four-decade monopoly on casinos in Macao and maintained his dominance after its industry opened to foreign companies in 2002.

He spent lavishly while wielding great influence both in Macao and in neighbouring Hong Kong while — according to U.S. authorities — maintaining ties to organized crime.

He fathered 17 children with four women, and his extended family engaged in high-profile squabbles over his empire during his later years.

Zen Soo, The Associated Press