Having already spent 14 months in police custody, Alan Ho, nephew of Macau casino icon Stanley Ho, will be relieved to have been sentenced to 13 months in prison today. The time he has already spent in custody means that he walks free, after being convicted of running a prostitution ring in a Macau hotel. On Thursday, Macau's court of first instance decided that Alan Ho was guilty of the sexual exploitation charge, but found him not guilty of the crime which would carry a heavier sentence – leading a criminal organisation. The initial arrest was made after Ho had been found charging fees to allow certain prostitutes to work inside a hotel, earning an estimated MOP400 million ($50 million) in the process. The operation involved 100 rooms of the hotel, and while prostitution itself is legal in Macau, running a prostitution business in such a way, is not.
Alan Ho (Photo: China.com.cn)
Not the First Scandal Involving Casinos and Prostitution
Whilst this latest scandal is a high profile one, it is certainly not the first of its kind in Macau, and there has always been a commonly held view that gambling and prostitution go together. Any web search with the words “prostitution” and “casino” will give you plenty of historical scandals.
For prostitutes, casinos are a place where you are guaranteed to find men with money, who are looking to enjoy themselves. For casinos, it is essential to keep by any way possible gamblers happy expecially those with the deepest pocket. As reported in a previous article "Prostitution: Are casinos in Asia playing a dangerous game?" this relationship between casinos and prostitution is so intrincate that analysts are talking about a “prostitution strategy” used by various operators in order to attract gamblers.