Aside from the 50 people that made our final list and the many others we considered, a handful stood out as particularly worthy of mention. In many cases it is because their star is on the rise, such as SJM’s Arnaldo Ho, although others like Steve Wynn are notable for their absence from the top 50 this year. Either way, the people on these pages are worth keeping a particularly close eye on in the coming years and we expect many to move into our 50 in the near future.
Grand Lisboa Palace
Appointed President of SJM’s under-construction Cotai integrated resort, Grand Lisboa Palace, in September, Baker joins the company after building an extensive resume in and around Asia. Previously Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Genting Malaysia Berhad for four years until August, he also enjoyed a short stint as EVP – Resort Operations at Wynn Macau and was Vice President and Assistant General Manager across multiple Las Vegas properties for Caesars Entertainment.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The founder of open-source platform provider TGG has is not only determined to change the face of slot machine gaming as we know it but has developed an innovative new blockchain concept through his latest venture, Alphaslot, including an idea around luring millennials to casino floors to redeem tokens earned via social gaming.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
– JAPAN DEVELOPMENT
Galaxy Entertainment Group
A former star performer at Melco Resorts, Ted Chan was snapped up by Galaxy in April to head up their Japan operations as the company aggressively pursues a Japanese IR license. Commenting on the appointment, brokerage Bernstein said at the time, “While Mike Mecca has been leading the effort on international development opportunities, including Japan, the time was ripe to put a seasoned well experienced executive on the ground to heighten the effort as legalization moves potentially closer to fruition.”
CHIEF OF STAFF
Highly rated by Sands China, Chum joined the company in 2013 as SVP
of Global Gaming Strategy, having previously spent 11 years as an analyst for UBS including three years as Head of China Equity Research. Now acting as second in charge to Dr Wilfred Wong in Macau, some say he is being groomed to be COO of Sands China sometime in the future.
ASSISTANT CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Sociedade de Jogos de Macau SA
The son of Stanley Ho and Angela Leong has been thrust into the spotlight by SJM this year, including being given the task of presenting the company’s Operator Vision for a Japanese IR at the Japan Gaming Congress in May. Arnaldo Ho is also a director of Macau Theme Park Resort Ltd which is building a new US$1.5 billion IR on vacant land owned by Leong next to Grand Lisboa Place in Cotai.
PRESIDENT, RESORTS WORLD AT SEA
Genting Hong Kong
A veteran of the industry and particularly Genting where he has filled multiple roles over the years directing premium sales and marketing initiatives as well as being appointed Executive Vice President Casino Operations in 2014. In the complicated and expansive world of Genting, his name is one that is often raised as a key player in Genting Hong Kong’s initiatives.
Li Chi Keung
Macau Jockey Club
A heavy hitter in Macau’s racing and sports betting scene, Li Chi Keung oversees the Macau Jockey Club, the Canidrome and Macau Slot. He is also Chairman of junket operator Golden Group and is said to be one of the largest local mezzanine financiers of satellite casinos.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment
Mohegan Sun’s CEO has hit the ground running since replacing Bobby Soper in September 2017. In May the company bought out its partner in Korean IR Inspire, currently under construction and due for completion of its US$1.6 billion Phase 1 in 2021. Kontomerkos was also in Japan in May, aggressively promoting the US company’s credentials to operate a regional Japanese IR. Expansion seems very much his forte.
Perhaps best known for his love of fine wine, SJM’s “third in charge” and close confidante of Stanley Ho has played a key role in the company’s success over the years even if he prefers to keep a lower profile than his peers. He is also a director of Macau Slot.
The Belle Corp Vice Chairman is the go-to man for the gaming side of the Sy family – the richest family in the Philippines. Ocier is tasked with overseeing the joint venture with Melco Resorts in City of Dreams Manila and has recently been pushing for expansion of the property onto adjacent land that Belle Corp owns. Melco has expressed an interest in doing just that.
Kicked out of two companies he founded – Wynn Resorts in 2012 and Universal Entertainment last year – Kazuo Okada has vowed to win back his control of the latter after claiming current boss Jun Fujimoto orchestrated his ouster. With daughter Hiromi, who owns a key stake in Universal, back by his side, it is now up to the Hong Kong courts to decide if she can gift her father a return.
After a terribly difficult two years both personally and professionally, the Australian billionaire stepped down from the Crown Resorts board in March due to mental health problems. But having come and gone before, don’t be surprised to see the company’s biggest shareholder return refreshed and ready to build again in the future. In the meantime, consolidation and preparing for the launch of Crown Sydney is the name of the game for Crown.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Hard Rock Japan
The former Sands China President and CEO is now Hard Rock International’s CEO of Asia, tasked with expanding the company’s regional portfolio including the No 1 target of Japan. Hard Rock is targeting a regional IR in Hokkaido and with the highly-respected Tracy at the helm is considered a very strong chance should the northern island win the confidence of government.
Shocking allegations of sexual misconduct aired in February ultimately forced founder Steve Wynn to stand down from the Wynn Resorts board and sell off his shares. At 76 years of age, it is unlikely he can ever make a comeback but don’t expect him to disappear into the ether – he recently launched legal proceedings against
his former company for handing over privileged documents to investigators.
A legend in the Hong Kong business community, having built the famous Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district from the ground up, Zeman has also stepped into the void left by Steve Wynn’s departure in Macau. The company’s new Chairman isn’t heavily involved in day to day operations but he brings respect and an exceptional business mind for the crucial years ahead.
On the radar
In addition to the 65 people in the combined BIG 50, The Next 5 and the Ones To Watch, we also have a list of over 30 people who we consider “On The Radar”. This list is not published, but we use it each year to check for potential new people on the Power 50. If you think of a name you don’t see amongst the 65 published in this issue who you think should be on our radar for future years, please email our Managing Editor Ben Blaschke on email@example.com, and we’ll consider adding them to our “On The Radar” list if they’re not already there.