orbes magazine last week said Ho’s fortune had dropped from 9 billion dollars to one billion dollars, mainly due to a disappointing listing of his gaming firm Sociedade de Jogos de Macau.
"Our casinos are the equivalent of printing money. We are printing every day, how could we be getting poor?" Ho said, according to the South China Morning Post.
"I suppose I should thank them (Forbes) for this, since now when you ask me to give donations, I don’t have to donate so much," he said. "Those who want to kidnap me also don’t need to think about it any more. I have no money."
The nephew of one of Asia’s first tycoons, Ho made his first fortune smuggling luxury goods across the Chinese border from Macau during World War II, before securing the only gaming licence in the then-Portuguese colony in 1962. He went on to run transport businesses and a racetrack, making him one of Asia’s richest men.
Along the way, the keen ballroom dancer cultivated a playboy lifestyle, taking four wives and fathering at least 17 children.