The family of the late gambling tycoon Stanley Ho risks losing the concession of two of Portugal’s biggest casinos after a rival bidder for the licence to operate both venues made a higher offer.
The Casino de Lisboa, in Portugal’s capital, and Casino do Estoril, located in the seaside town of Cascais near Lisbon, are operated by Estoril Sol SGPS SA, whose main shareholder is the Ho family. Pansy Ho, the eldest daughter of Stanley Ho’s second wife, is the chairwoman of Estoril Sol.
The licence to operate both casinos expire at the end of December and the Portuguese government opened an international tender in August for a new 15-year deal. The tender attracted two bids: one from a subsidiary of Estoril Sol, and another from Spanish Bidluck which submitted an offer of 20 million euros.
“Overall, the competing offer had a higher value than the offer presented by our own subsidiary,” Estoril Sol said in a regulatory filing on Monday. The tenders will now be evaluated, it said, without providing details.
Estoril Sol operates the 91-year-old Casino do Estoril, one of the largest in Europe, with slot machines, a gaming room, several restaurants and a theatre with a capacity for 1,000 people.
It also manages the Casino de Lisboa and the smaller Casino da Póvoa do Varzim, in northern Portugal, and owns online gambling and sports betting licences.
The company’s revenue reached US$132 million in 2021, compared with US$136 million in the previous year, according to its earnings report.
Finansol, a holding company controlled by members of the Ho family, owns a 57.8 per cent stake in Estoril Sol, CLBrief reported.