Macau’s casino king Stanley Ho gifts daughter S$87 million house at her engagement party

Sabrina Ho Chiu-yeng, 28 will marry Thomas Xin Qilong, a 21-year-old student who is currently studying at Harvard University

Instagram screengrab/ Mario Ho

Hong KongSabrina Ho Chiu-yeng, one of the 17 children of Macau’s Casino king, Stanley Ho Hung-sun, had a Chinese-style engagement party over the weekend. She revealed in March that she was marrying Thomas Xin Qilong, a 21-year-old student from Harvard.

The tycoon’s gift to his daughter, the oldest child of his fourth wife?

A piece of property worth a cool HK $500 million (S$87 million).

Ms Ho, age 28, is the chief executive of Poly Auction Macau and also helms her own com­pany, Chiu Yeng Culture. She is the oldest daughter of Mr Ho and his fourth wife, Angela Leong On-kei, who is co-chairman and executive director of SJM Holdings.

She announced her engagement on March 8 by posting a picture on Instagram of Mr Xin proposing to her last September, after the couple had been dating for four months.

Despite her father’s generous gift, she and her husband will make their home in the United States first, as Mr Xin is still completing his studies.

In 2016 Mr Xin, the son of business people, made headlines in his city of Harbin, in Heilongjiang province in northeastern China, when he became the second individual from Harbin to be admitted to Harvard.

Mr Xin was even called “the light of Harbin” for bringing honour to his city.

But what he is studying and how the couple met has not been revealed.

Aside from the property from Ms Ho’s father, the couple also reportedly received HK$100 million in gold and diamond jewellery from the guests at their engagement party.

Ms Ho is also said to be expecting the couple’s first child, a girl, and the couple is expected to get married in the summer of next year.

In March, Ms Ho told the Hong Kong Tatler, “I’m so happy to finally announce the news of my engagement. After keeping it a secret for a while, Thomas and I look forward to entering this next chapter of our lives together. He makes me happy beyond belief and I’m over the moon and have already started planning our big day!”

Rumours that Mr Ho, age 97, was in poor health circulated earlier this year, with some speculation that he was gravely ill and was experiencing organ failure.

But these rumours were dispelled when Ina Chan Un Chan, Mr Ho’s third wife, and their daughter Laurinda Ho Chiu-lin, spoke to members of the media in January outside the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital in Happy Valley.

Ms Chan and Ms Ho said that the casino tycoon was merely resting. “He is in good shape. I don’t know why there were such rumours.”

Mr Ho has been Asia’s King of Gambling for more than forty years and played a vital role in turning Macau into one of the gambling hubs in the world.

He is a grand nephew of Sir Robert Hotung, who became the richest man in Hong Kong in the first half of the twentieth century.

Mr Ho is a well-known philanthropist, having donated HK$39 million (S$6.83 million) to the University of Oxford’s Pembroke College to boost Chinese history studies.

There are also 12 museums, hospitals, sports centres, and educational institutions in Hong Kong and Macau bearing Mr Ho’s name, and he famously bid at a charity auction in 2007 for the biggest white truffle to be found in 50 years.

His bid was HK$2.57 million (S$448,000)./ TISG